Every person in Connecticut and Rhode Island should be counted in the 2020 census
(New Haven, CT) – As the 2020 census begins, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is committed to supporting a fair and accurate census count. The census plays a significant role in ensuring that billions of federal dollars, including health care funding, are sent where they are needed. Census data also determines long-term political representation at all levels of government and is used to make critical decisions that affect everyone’s lives.
“Every person living in the United States has the right to be counted,” said Amanda Skinner, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “We are proud to be working alongside Complete Count committees and our community partners to ensure the 2020 census gets an accurate count of everyone in Connecticut and Rhode Island—especially historically undercounted communities including people of color, youth, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and single, female-headed households. Undercounting will mean fewer resources for those who need them most, setting people back for decades to come. That’s unacceptable. Working towards a fair, accurate census count is another way we can show up for our patients and our communities and make sure everyone has the resources they need to be healthy and thrive.”
Complete Count committees in Connecticut and Rhode Island are local partnerships among community organizations, municipalities, and representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau engaged in Get Out the Count (GOTC) activities. Working alongside community partners is imperative to make sure everyone understands the importance of the 2020 census. Completing the census is safe, easy, and important, and getting counted is the best way for the government to understand our needs and ensure tax dollars make it back to our communities. Information about the census is also available at our 17 health centers.
Many people are concerned about participating in the census due to the Trump-Pence administration’s attempts to add a citizenship question, stoking fears that the census may be used to aid law enforcement in detention and deportation. A federal court blocked this question, but the attempt itself could lead to fewer people from undercounted communities completing the census. This would likely lead to a reduction in the amount of support for sexual and reproductive health care and other social services directed to underserved and undercounted communities—providing fewer resources for those already impacted by systemic racism and economic inequality. That’s why PPSNE is committed to telling our patients and our communities that individual census data is kept safe and protected by federal law, and completing the census means families and communities won’t miss out on the resources they need for the next 10 years.
Census data is used to determine:
- More than $10.7 billion in federal spending in Connecticut, including more than $4.6 billion in Medicaid, nearly $62 million in Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and more than $46 million in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition benefits
- More than $3.8 billion in federal spending in Rhode Island, including more than $1.5 billion in Medicaid, more than $65 million in CHIP, and more than $18 million in WIC
- The number of Representatives each state gets in Congress. This is especially important in Rhode Island, where population projections predict the state will lose a seat in the House of Representatives
Information from the 2020 census will shape our political voice locally and nationally and will be used to make long-term decisions about where to allocate funding for social service programs. A fair, accurate count can help make these resources, including health care funding, more accessible to all—that’s why PPSNE is committing to GOTC efforts this year.