FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 7, 2012

Contact: Lauren Levenstein, 202-293-3114

NFPRHA, Nation’s Leading Advocate for Publicly Funded Family Planning, Marks 47th Anniversary of the Griswold v. Connecticut Decision

Supreme Court’s Landmark 1965 Case Helped Pave the Way for Title X, the Only Dedicated Federal Family Planning Program for the Low-Income and Uninsured

 Today, the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) salutes the 47th anniversary of the 1965 landmark Supreme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut, which affirmed the right of married couples to use contraceptives and first recognized an individual’s right to privacy in family planning matters. The Griswold case helped pave the way for Title X (ten), the national family planning program, sponsored by then-Representative George H. W. Bush and signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon.

"As we mark this important anniversary of the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, family planning programs are under unprecedented attack. Family planning care has helped millions of women and men protect their health and saved billions in taxpayer dollars,” said Clare Coleman, President & CEO of NFPRHA, “Now is not the time to back down from protecting the public health and well-being of millions of Americans."

The Griswold decision set the stage for Title X, the nation’s only dedicated federally funded family planning program, which has been lauded by the Institute of Medicine for its achievements over its 41-year history. A Guttmacher Institute study released in May 2012 confirmed that Title-X funded health centers, which served 5.2 million people in 2010, "do more to meet women's need for contraceptive services than do other clinics."

"Despite the widespread public support for contraception and the need for access to affordable health care services, 2012 has become a battleground year for family planning. As we salute the anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, it is critical that policymakers stand strong in support of family planning and the network of publicly funded providers who work to meet the health care needs of millions of women and men across the country," said Coleman. 

Background:

The Title X Program Is Helping Millions Of Americans

In 2010, Title X Health Centers Served More Than 5.2 Million People. According to the US HHS Office of Population Affairs’ Family Planning Annual Report, in 2010, nearly 4,400 Title X health centers served more than 5.2 million people, 69% of whom had incomes at or below $10,830 a year for an individual (2010 federal poverty level (FPL) and 91% of whom had incomes at or below $27,075 a year (250% of FPL) and received services at a discounted rate. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Planning, September 2011

The Title X Program Is Vastly Underfunded

Title X Is Only Serving About A Third Of Those In Need Because Of Scarce Resources. A 2008 Guttmacher Institute estimate puts the number of women in need of family planning services at 17.4 million. The Title X network is currently only able to serve about a third of those in need. [Guttmacher Institute, August 2011]

Family Planning Funding Is Under Attack Both In Washington And Around The Country

In FY 2011 and FY 2012, Title X Took Nearly $24 Million In Funding Cuts Due To Politically Motivated Efforts To Eliminate The Program. Since early 2011, Title X has been the target of multiple attacks designed to eliminate the program. As a result, the program has been cut nearly $24 million in FY 2011 and FY 2012 combined. [H.R. 1; FY2011 and FY2011 Omnibus Appropriations]

State Legislatures Continue To Target The Family Planning Network.  Here Are Just Two Examples:

Pennsylvania Policymakers Plan To Introduce A Bill That Would Bar State And Federal Funding To PA Planned Parenthoods. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, in May 2012, a Pennsylvania Republican lawmaker planned to introduce a bill "that would prohibit Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortion services from receiving any public funding…Sari Stevens, executive director at Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, said the organization served 120,000 women last year, providing cervical cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, consulting on birth control and family planning, and routine annual exams. Abortion services constitute 5 percent of its health care offering." [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 5/22/12]

Texas Policymakers Cut $74 Million In State And Federal Funding For Family Planning, Closing 155 Health Centers Statewide. According to USA Today, in 2011, in Texas, "the Republican-controlled Legislature slashed $74 million from the Family Planning Program, resulting in the closings of 155 clinics across the state. The clinics offered services such as cervical exams, breast exams and free birth control but, under state law, could not provide abortions. In another move, lawmakers passed a law essentially shutting out Planned Parenthood from funding through the state's Medicaid Women's Health Program. Together, the two moves would cut services to more than 300,000 low-income women annually across Texas, according to the Texas Legislative Budget Board." [USA Today, 5/1/12]

An Overwhelming Majority Of Americans Support Access To Contraception And Have Used Birth Control In Their Lifetimes

89% Of US Adults And 82% Of Catholic Adults Think Birth Control Is "Morally Acceptable." According to a May 2012 Gallup Poll, "almost 89 percent of U.S. adults -- and 82 percent of Catholic adults -- say birth control is morally acceptable." [UPI, 5/23/12]

Over 98% Of American Women Have Used Birth Control In Their Lifetimes. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 98 percent of American women have used birth control at some point in their lives. [Guttmacher Institute, Accessed 5/24/12]

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The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) is a membership organization representing the nation's family planning providers—nurses, nurse practitioners, administrators and other key health care professionals. For 41 years, NFPRHA members have provided high-quality preventive health care services in thousands of health centers to millions of women and men annually. Everyday our members help people act responsibly, stay healthy and plan for strong families.

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