For Immediate Release: June 17, 2015
Contact: Paul Gels, Communications Coordinator (617) 515-0531
Congress Moves to End Nation's Family Planning Program
Could Leave Thousands of Massachusetts Residents Without Care
BOSTON -Yesterday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies issued a 2016 fiscal year funding proposal that would eliminate the Title X Family Planning program, cutting health care - including family planning services, well-woman exams, lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and testing and treatments for sexually transmitted infections - that nearly 4.6 million people, including approximately 1.5 million Planned Parenthood patients, currently rely on. The funding bill would also eliminate nearly all federal funding for teen pregnancy prevention and sex education programs.
“This bill would gut teen pregnancy prevention and sex education programs - just as we are making historic progress in reducing teen pregnancy here in Massachusetts and across the country,” said Sue Kaufman, Interim CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. “Here in Massachusetts, Title X funding supports our health centers in Worcester, Fitchburg, Marlborough and Milford. Elimination of this funding could leave thousands of women in Massachusetts without access to care.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 350,000 women in Massachusetts need publicly supported contraception services. More than 100,000 of those women live in Worcester and Middlesex counties alone.[i]
In the U.S. teen pregnancy and birth rates have reached a historic low, and more young people are delaying sexual activity and using birth control when they do have sex. Research shows that well-designed and well-implemented sex education programs can decrease sexual risk behaviors among teens, including delaying sexual intercourse, increasing condom and birth control use, and reducing the number of sexual partners and frequency of sex.
Planned Parenthood’s doctors and nurses provide high-quality, affordable health care to 2.7 million people a year. The effort to eliminate the Title X Family Planning program would shatter the country’s public health safety net and jeopardize women’s health.
● These cuts would impact approximately 1.5 million Planned Parenthood patients who benefit from the Title X Family Planning program, 78 percent of whom live with incomes of 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less, the equivalent of $35,775 a year for a family of four in 2014. Approximately 20 percent of these patients identify as Latino/a; and approximately 15 percent identify as African American.
● Eighty-one percent of American voters favor continuing federal government efforts to help women who can’t afford it get access to birth control.
● Investments in women's health services are not only providing women with more control over their health and their own family planning; they are also a great deal for taxpayers. According to research released by the Guttmacher Institute, for every $1 we invest in publicly funded family planning services, we save $7 in the long run.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider and advocate in the Commonwealth, providing sexual and reproductive health care to more than 30,000 patients per year. PPLM provides a wide range of preventive health care services including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing and treatment, and abortion services and ensure that women have accurate information about all of their options. For 87 years, PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and rights through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.
June 17, 2015