FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 29, 2015
Contact: Jessica Marcella, 301-455-2575, jmarcella@nfprha.org 

Ernst Bill Must Be Rejected

Statement from Clare Coleman, President & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA)

WASHINGTON, DC – “As the national membership organization representing America's publicly funded family planning providers – state, county, and local health departments, hospitals, family planning councils, federally qualified health centers and other private non-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood affiliates - NFPRHA stands in strong opposition to S. 1881, introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).

“Polling commissioned by NFPRHA just last month shows that three-quarters of women believe that publicly funded family planning centers have a positive impact on public health. Senator Ernst’s bill would undermine public health and take decision-making away from states and communities, which today determine the breadth and diversity of health care providers that participate in Title X family planning counseling and health services in each area of the country. These types of 'tiering' funding restrictions have been proposed and rejected in past Congresses. This latest proposal should be rejected now. 

“As the largest provider of family planning and reproductive health services in the US, Planned Parenthood is an essential provider of life-saving care. Senator Ernst’s bill specifically targets Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood helps ensure women have access to abortion care. The facts are simple: federal law and policy prohibit Title X family planning funds from being used to provide, promote, or encourage abortions, and no violation of the prohibitions on abortion-related activities has ever been identified over the program’s 44-year history. 

“This proposal demonstrates a lack of respect for and understanding of the preventive health needs of the millions of individuals who rely on it as their usual, and oftentimes sole, source of health care. In many communities, there are not other health care providers that would be equipped to fill the void created by the prohibition of funding for a qualified, trusted family planning provider. 

“Patients who rely on publicly funded family planning care do not need this Congress to impose any more barriers to the family planning counseling and health service that help them take good care of their health. Congress should reject this bill.”

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NFPRHA represents the broad spectrum of family planning administrators and clinicians serving the nation's low-income and uninsured. NFPRHA’s more than 840 member organizations operate or fund a network of nearly 5,000 health centers and service sites that provide comprehensive family planning services to millions of low-income and uninsured or underinsured individuals in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

 

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