FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Congress Must Reject President's Proposed Cuts to Family Planning
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — February 05, 2008 — “The President’s proposed budget for FY 2009 shortchanges women and families by drastically reducing Medicaid funding for family planning services, and failing to adequately fund the Title X family planning program. Fully funding these services is critical if we are to lower rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion, reduce sexually transmitted infections, and protect women’s health.
Instead of funding reproductive health programs that are essential to low-income women and families, President Bush wants to divert funds to abstinence-only programs despite mounting evidence that they do not work. Congress must not agree to do so.
The Administration also proposes to cut federal funds for Medicaid family planning services by $570 billion in 2009 and $3.3 billion over five years by lowering the reimbursement rate for these cost-effective services. If Congress agrees, millions of people who rely on Medicaid for basic health care, including Pap tests, contraception, and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, would have no source of care. That must not happen.
The White House also proposes to flat-fund Title X, which provides family planning services to low-income women. Flat funding would make it even more difficult for the 4,400 clinics that receive Title X’s $300 million to keep pace with the rising cost of contraceptives and to serve the women and couples who depend on them for reproductive health care. Had Title X kept pace with medical inflation since FY 1980, it would be funded at more than $725 million today.
With regard to reproductive health, President Bush’s budget proposal fails on all counts. Everyone deserves access to affordable, high quality reproductive health care. We will work tirelessly to ensure that Congress rejects these callous cuts, and instead gives women the reproductive health services they need.”
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.