FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 1, 2016
Contact: Jessica Marcella, 301-455-2575, jmarcella@nfprha.org 

Years of Budget Cuts Threaten Access to Family Planning Care

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

 

WASHINGTON, DC – According to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs’ Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR) released today, the Title X family planning program continues to experience declines in patient volume despite a growing demand for these services nationwide. Title X, the nation’s only dedicated federal source of family planning resources, helps states and local communities provide high-quality family planning care and education, including contraception, counseling, STD services, and cancer screenings to poor and low-income women and men. 

The report shows that in 2015, 4 million women and men sought services in the Title X network, which is 23% lower (1.2 million people fewer) than the program’s peak in 2010. This marks the fourth year in a row that the Title X program has sustained a decline in patient volume and the sixth year in a row that the program has not received any additional service delivery funding. 

The failure to restore resources after consecutive years of budget cuts has reverberated in communities across the country. Title X-funded health centers have been forced to scale back hours, lay off staff or freeze hiring, and even close their doors. Particularly in light of the emerging public health threat resulting from the Zika virus, the most troubling consequence, as evident in today’s report, is that fewer people are accessing the family planning and sexual health services they need to stay healthy. 

Politically driven attacks at the federal and state levels on publicly funded family planning have taken place against a backdrop of growing need for these services. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2013, there were 918,000 additional women in need of publicly funded care. 

"Title X-funded health centers are an important part of the fabric of our nation’s public health system,” said Clare Coleman, President & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA). “They are places of safety and trust and where patients turn for high-quality, confidential family planning care. Unfortunately, Title X gets a mere fifth of the funding it would need to meet the demands, and that's not taking into account the additional strain caused by Zika. The status quo is unacceptable. We need a significant infusion of politics-free funds for family planning. Waiting is not a luxury afforded to those who want to plan for and prevent pregnancy at this uncertain time — the family planning safety net is serving the patients who need them now.” 

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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 nearly 900 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.

 

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

1025 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-293-3114  |  info@nfprha.org

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