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Transcript and Sources: “Publicly Supported Family Planning Services Are Essential”



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Contraception plays a pivotal role in women’s lives. It allows them and their partners to plan their families and space the births of their children, leading to healthier mothers and infants.

It also enables women to delay childbearing so they can achieve other life goals—like finishing school or getting a job. All of this is good not just for women, but for their families and society as a whole.

But women can only attain these benefits if high-quality contraceptive care is available to them. And for millions of U.S. women, it is publicly supported family planning that fills this crucial need.

For decades, federal and state governments have helped women who could not otherwise afford family planning services. It’s smart government at its best: These services help women avoid well over two million unplanned pregnancies annually, which would otherwise result in more than one million unplanned births and 760,000 abortions. Without these services, the U.S. abortion rate would be two-thirds higher than it is now.

And investing in family planning is highly cost effective: Helping low-income women avoid births they don’t want saves $5.68 in Medicaid costs for every dollar invested—an impressive return for taxpayers.

At the heart of this successful effort is the nationwide network of health centers that provide publicly funded family planning services. This essential safety net serves almost seven million women each year.

Women choose these providers because of the respectful, confidential and high-quality care they receive there. For many, this network is not only where they go for affordable contraceptive services. It’s their entry point into the health care system, and often their only source of preventive care—like pelvic and breast exams, HIV and STI tests, and screenings for cancers, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Health care reform will only increase the demand for the basic health care services family planning centers provide. Women who newly gain insurance coverage will need a place to go. And those who fall through the cracks still need a safety net.

And yet, the programs supporting this safety net are under attack. Medicaid, an essential component of health reform, has been threatened with deep cuts. Several states have slashed family planning funding. And some in Congress want to eliminate the federal Title X program, without which many family planning centers couldn’t keep their doors open.

Rather than attacking such highly effective programs, policymakers should protect and expand them. Doing so would extend the benefits of family planning to even more of those in need—improving health and expanding economic opportunity.

Sources

It allows them and their partners to plan their families and space the births of their children, leading to healthier mothers and infants.


It also enables women to delay childbearing so they can achieve other life goals—like finishing school or getting a job.


And for millions of U.S. women, it is publicly supported family planning that fills this crucial need.


These services help women avoid well over two million unplanned pregnancies annually, which would otherwise result in more than one million unplanned births and 760,000 abortions. Without these services, the U.S. abortion rate would be two-thirds higher than it is now.


Helping low-income women avoid births they don’t want saves $5.68 in Medicaid costs for every dollar invested


This essential safety net serves almost seven million women each year.


Women choose these providers because of the respectful, confidential and high-quality care they receive there.


It’s their entry point into the health care system, and often their only source of preventive care—like pelvic and breast exams, HIV and STI tests, and screenings for cancers, high blood pressure and diabetes.


And yet, the programs supporting this safety net are under attack. Medicaid, an essential component of health reform, has been threatened with deep cuts. Several states have slashed family planning funding. And some in Congress want to eliminate the federal Title X program, without which many family planning centers couldn’t keep their doors open.