This week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined her colleagues in support of the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act to provide consistent and mandatory funding for the Title X Family Planning Program. This robust source of funding would help provide and protect access to critical reproductive health care services like contraceptives, contraceptive and pregnancy counseling, cancer screenings, and more.
“With women’s rights to bodily autonomy and health care under attack, we have to think ahead and protect the reproductive health care services we still have at our disposal,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We all know that birth control is next on the chopping block. This important bill, the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, would take the volatility out of Title X funding and provide a reliable and mandatory source of funding for vital services like access to contraceptives, screening for cervical and breast cancer, pregnancy counseling, and basic infertility services. I am joined by more than thirty of my colleagues in this effort and urge the Senate to pass this bill swiftly.”
The Title X Family Planning Program is the only federal program dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health services. Hundreds of thousands of Americans rely on the program for essential health care. In 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patients received family planning services through Title X. However, Title X is funded through the annual appropriations process, which subjects the program to an unpredictable funding stream that is insufficient to meet the national need. The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would prevent this volatility by providing a consistent and strong source of funding for Title X.
The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would:
- Provide $500 million in mandatory funding for Title X services for each of the next 10 fiscal years. This is well above the $286 million the program received in FY2022.
- Deliver $50 million in mandatory funding for clinic construction, renovation, and related infrastructure enhancements for each of the next 10 fiscal years.
- Reinstate regulations prohibiting discrimination against providers who deliver Title X services.
- Require that pregnancy counseling include information about prenatal care and delivery, infant care, foster care, adoption, and pregnancy termination, unless a patient does not have any interest in receiving information about an option.
Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced this legislation. In addition to Senator Gillibrand, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mark Warner (D-VA).
The bill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Catholics for Choice, the National Partnership for Women & Families, Power to Decide, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Council of Jewish Women, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, ACLU, Advocates for Youth, National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
For more information, you can find the bill here and the full text here.