Joint Statement by Bridger Clinic and Planned Parenthood:
March 12, 2011
For Immediate Release
GOP-Controlled House Eliminates Statewide Family Planning Program
(Helena, MT) – On Friday, the Montana House of Representatives voted and passed an amendment to HB 2 (http://leg2.mt.gov/2011/AmdHAgenda/HB0002093CW06479.hgh.htm ) that eliminate the state family planning program. On a largely partyline vote, the House Republicans voted to reject Title X (“ten”) funds that provide care to low-income Montana families.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) currently contracts with 15 family planning delegate agencies in 27 locations throughout Montana offering comprehensive family planning, contraceptives, counseling and educational services to men and women in need. DPHHS annual report can be found here: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/PHSD/Women-Health/documents/Annualreportprintable.pdf
In 2010, 27,731 men and women in Montana were served by Title X clinics. The majority of clients served by family planning clinics are low income:
- 56% of these were clients at or below 100% of the poverty level and received no cost care
- 85% were below 250% of the poverty level and qualified for reduced fees
“This action purports to save money, but shifts costs and real life consequences to our community’s most vulnerable individuals. Women and children disproportionately live in poverty and lack of access to family planning healthcare is a major contributor to that cycle.” stated Mari Dominguez, Executive Director of Bridger Clinic, Inc., the largest community family planning clinic in Montana. “We serve over 5,000 patients under this program in the Bozeman community and a cut of this magnitude will be devastating to the individuals and families we serve.”
Stacey Anderson, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Montana, stated “The GOP-controlled House is ignoring common sense and prevention with this vote. Not only are working families in Montana taking responsibility by accessing family planning, but we should all share the common sense goal of reducing unplanned pregnancy and abortion in Montana. This vote is pure hypocrisy in action and says a lot about the leaders in the Montana House who have turned a deaf ear on the voters and families of Montana.”
The state’s investment and commitment to family planning can be traced back to 1971, when President Nixon signed into law the Title X (“ten”) program and the state’s implemented the program – Family Planning has provided access to basic preventive, reproductive healthcare for millions of Americans and countless Montanans.
Mari Dominguez, Executive Director, Bridger Clinic – 406-451-6876 cell
Stacey Anderson, Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Montana – 406-442-4228 cell
March 04, 2011