Contraception plays a pivotal role in women’s lives. And for millions of U.S. women, it’s the nationwide network of publicly supported family planning centers that allows them and their families to reap the significant health, economic and social benefits of contraceptive use.

However, the programs that support this highly successful effort—Medicaid and the federal Title X family planning program—have come under ideological and budgetary attacks. To put facts squarely back into the debate, our short animated video highlights the many benefits of publicly supported family planning services for women, their families and the nation as a whole.

Watch the video on our YouTube channel and let us know what you think on the Guttmacher Facebook page or via Twitter.

Highlighting key facts, the video illustrates the crucial importance of protecting and expanding publicly supported family planning services, and makes clear why safety-net family planning centers will be needed more than ever as millions of women gain public and private insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Among the video’s key points:

  • Contraception allows women and their partners to plan their families and space births, resulting in healthier mothers and infants. The ability to delay and space childbearing is also crucial to women’s societal and economic advancement.
  • In 2010, publicly supported family planning services helped young and low-income women prevent 2.2 million unintended pregnancies, which would have resulted in 1.1 million unplanned births and 760,000 abortions.
  • In the absence of these services, national levels of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion would be two-thirds higher.
  • For every dollar invested in helping low-income women avoid births they don’t want, there is a savings of $5.68 in Medicaid costs for pregnancy-related and infant care.
  • Safety-net health centers that provide family planning served 6.7 million women in 2010, providing affordable, respectful, confidential and high-quality contraceptive care; these centers also provide a range of other preventive health services and often serve as women’s entry point into the health care system.
  • Millions of uninsured Americans will gain health coverage once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014. The network of safety-net family planning centers will be critical to meeting the needs of those who are newly insured under the ACA as well as those who will still lack insurance coverage.

By giving policymakers, the media and the public key facts, our video aims to ensure that publicly supported family planning services are seen as what they are—basic preventive health care that benefits women, their children and families, and society overall.

We encourage you to share this video with your friends and colleagues. And please let us know what you think via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Click here to watch “Publicly Supported Family Planning Services Are Essential

In Spanish: “Los servicios de planificación familiar apoyados con fondos públicos son esenciales

For more information:

Script and Sources

Fact sheet: Publicly Funded Contraceptive Services in the United States
Fact sheet: State Facts About Title X and Family Planning
Fact sheet: State Facts on Unintended Pregnancy

Analysis: Besieged Family Planning Network Plays Pivotal Role
Analysis: Title X: An Essential Investment, Now More than Ever
Analysis: What Women Already Know: Documenting the Social and Economic Benefits of Family Planning

Research: Contraception and Beyond: The Health Benefits of Services Provided at Family Planning Centers
Research: Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

Video: The Benefits of Contraceptive Use in the United States

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