House Appropriations Bill is a Disappointment: If enacted, the bill could reverse the progress made in reducing teen and unplanned pregnancy 

Jul 14 2017

(Washington, DC)—The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is extremely disappointed in the U.S. House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee’s passage yesterday of their FY 2018 LHHS Appropriations bill. The bill, which passed on a party line vote, eliminates funding for vital programs that provide young women education and resources that give them the ability to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.

“There is nothing in this bill that will advance progress on these issues,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign. “It eliminates investments in the gold-standard, evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program as well as high quality contraceptive access for low-income people. These programs have historically contributed to the nation’s rates of teen childbearing and unplanned pregnancy plummeting. So why mess with success? These funding cuts are short-sighted and will harm millions of women and youth—especially our most vulnerable youth.” 

Specifically, the House bill would:

  • Eliminate the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, currently funded at $101 million.
  • Eliminate the Title X Family Planning Program currently funded at $286.5 million.
  • Provide $20 million for “Sexual Risk Avoidance” education (otherwise known as abstinence education), $5 million more than the current funding level.
  • Prohibit any funding in the LHHS appropriations bill from going to Planned Parenthood.

Nationally representative polling from The National Campaign shows that 85% of adults favor continuing the TPP Program (including 75% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats). The polling also shows that 75% of adults favor continuing the Title X program (including 66% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats). 

The TPP Program has been lauded by independent experts as a stellar example of how to implement evidence-based policymaking—something that should be expanded, not eliminated. Meanwhile, more than 19 million women in need of publicly funded contraception live in contraceptive deserts, meaning they lack reasonable access to a public clinic offering the full range of birth control methods. Eliminating all Title X funding will exacerbate these large gaps in access and deepen existing disparities.

“The cuts and restrictions in this bill are at odds with the strong bi-partisan public support for these programs and are counterproductive,” Ehrlich said. “Investing in evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention and access to high quality contraception through Title X helps to save tax dollars, reduce unplanned pregnancy and abortion, and enable greater educational and economic opportunities for all young people in our nation. We urge the full House Appropriations Committee and the Senate to reject this legislation and continue funding these programs.”

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit us at www.TheNationalCampaign.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

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