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AHA Signs Coalition Letter Calling for Millions in Family Planning Funding

As a member of the Family Planning Coalition, the American Humanist Association has signed a letter calling on Congress to provide $327 million in funding for the Title X family planning program. We join sixty other groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Read the letter below or as a PDF here.


March 29, 2013

Dear Chairmen Tom Harkin, Jack Kingston and Ranking Members Jerry Moran and Rosa DeLauro:

As you continue to develop a Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 appropriations measure to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies, the undersigned members of the Family Planning Coalition respectfully request that you provide $327 million in funding for the Title X family planning program. The organizations listed below collectively represent millions of administrators, providers, and patients who share the common mission of supporting and protecting federal funds for critical, cost-saving programs that provide family planning services to millions of women, men and families. By expanding support for the Title X family planning program you will help protect access to the public health safety net for millions in need of high-quality health services.

Title X is the sole source of dedicated federal funding for family planning services for underserved populations – approximately two thirds of women nationwide obtaining publicly funded family planning do so at Title X-funded health centers.1 Health centers receiving Title X funding help women plan pregnancies, thereby helping to prevent nearly one million unintended pregnancies each year.2 In addition to providing vital contraceptive services, Title X health centers offer other essential preventative health care, comprehensive sex education, and counseling to five million low income individuals each year.3 In fact, six out of ten women surveyed chose to visit a women’s health center for women’s primary care, even though they had visited other medical providers in the past year. For four out of ten women, a women’s health center is their only source of care.4

Recently, the Title X program has experienced devastating cuts –a total reduction of $23.6 million in federal funding over FY2011 and FY2012, which providers absorbed in a single calendar year. As a result, many health centers across the country were forced to close while others reduced patient hours, limited services, and laid off staff. Because of these funding cuts the program experienced a decline of over 200,000 patients in just one year.5 In addition to these cuts, Title X will face an additional 5-9 percent cut, or nearly $15-$26 million in additional funding reductions, due to sequestration in FY 2013. Deeper cuts to the Title X program will continue to exacerbate barriers for women trying to access important preventive health services.

Funding for the Title X program is a critical and life saving investment in the well-being of women and their families across the county. In addition to providing services, the Title X program also supports the nation’s health care infrastructure. Investing in Title X will help providers meet the demand for health care as the Affordable Care Act is implemented by supporting the implementation of health information technology, building a strong workforce, and upgrading medical equipment.

The Coalition looks forward to working with you to strengthen America’s only dedicated family planning program and invest in the critical health infrastructure that millions of Americans rely on for basic health care. We thank you for your consideration and urge you to include at least $327 million in FY 2014 for the Title X family planning program.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Dana Thomas at the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association or Karen Stone at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Sincerely,

Abortion Care Network
Advocates for Youth
AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families
AIDS United
American Academy of Pediatrics
Americans Association of Birth Centers
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Humanist Association
American Nurses Association
American Medical Student Association
American Public Health Association
American Sexual Health Association
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Catholics for Choice
Center for Women Policy Studies
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Childbirth Connection
GMHC
Global Justice Institute
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Healthy Teen Network
HIV Medicine Association
International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC)
Jewish Women International
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Metropolitan Community Churches
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Council of Jewish Women
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National Health Law Program
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women's Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
People for the American Way
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Connection
Population Institute
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)
Society for Adolescent Health & Medicine
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
The AIDS Institute
The Midwives Alliance
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society
The Women’s Collective
Union for Reform Judaism
Women of Reform Judaism
Cc: The United States Senate Appropriations Committee
The United States House of Representatives Appropriations Committee

1 Cohen, Susan A. “The Numbers Tell the Story: The Reach and Impact of Title X.” Guttmacher Policy Review. Spring 2011, Volume 14, Number 2. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/14/2/gpr140220.html#6

2 Guttmacher Institute. Facts on Publicly Funded Contraceptive Services in the United States. March 2012. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contraceptive_serv.html

3 Office of Populations Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Title X Family Planning Annual Report, 2011 National Summary.” November 2012. http://www.hhs.gov/opa/pdfs/fpar-2011-national-summary.pdf

4 Frost, J,, Gold, R. “Specialized Family Planning Clinics in the United States: Why Women Choose Them and Their Role in Meeting Women’s Health Care Needs.” Women’s Health Issues. Volume 22, Issue 6, Pages e519-e525, November 2012 http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/j.whi.2012.09.002.pdf

5 Office of Populations Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Title X Family Planning Annual Report, 2011 National Summary. November 2012. http://www.hhs.gov/opa/pdfs/fpar-2011-national-summary.pdf

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