Birth Control Access Campaign
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PUBLIC FUNDS FOR FAMILY PLANNING
Several public programs fund family planning services for
low income women and girls, providing approximately $1.85
billion for such services. The vast majority of this money is
distributed via Medicaid programs at both the federal and
state levels. Title X of the Public Health and Service Act of
1970, a federal grant program, also provides funds. It is the
only federal program devoted solely to family planning.
However, the amount of money currently spent on the Title X
program is clearly not meeting public need for low-cost
family planning services.
TITLE X: THE BASICS
Title X provides grants to over 4,600 public health
clinics, which provide family planning services to millions
of people. Among those services are contraception
distribution, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing
and treatment, pregnancy testing and counseling, and
educational programs. Title X funding cannot be used
toward abortion services, but all clinics funded by Title X must provide patients with information on all family
planning services, including abortion.
WHO USES CLINICS
FUNDED BY TITLE X?
These public health clinics assist mostly low-income
patients who do not qualify for Medicaid or have insurance
that does not cover family planning services. Title X funds
can subsidize or even fully cover the family planning costs
of these patients. By increasing the accessibility of family
planning and contraception, Title X helps prevent unplanned
pregnancies and decreases the overall number of abortions.
To find a public family planning clinic near you, visit
FAMILY PLANNING: VITAL FOR SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & RIGHTS
Comprehensive family planning services, like those funded
by Title X, are based in science and are medically necessary.
The federal government has wasted hundreds of millions of
dollars since 1996 on abstinence-only education programs,
which have proven ineffective at preventing unplanned
pregnancy and the spread of STIs. The 2010 & 2011 fiscal
year budgets have eliminated funding for abstinence-only
education, but some lawmakers continue to push for these
In the United States, nearly half of all pregnancies are
unintentional and there are approximately 19 million new
cases of STIs each year, half of them among 15–24-yearolds.
We cannot afford to replace comprehensive family
planning services with abstinence-only and faith-based
programs ever again.
MEETING THE NEED FOR PUBLIC
FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES
One in four women has limited or no health insurance.
A low income woman is more than four times more likely
than an affluent woman to have an unintended pregnancy.
17.5 million American women require publicly funding family
planning services. Despite that need, only 54% of those
women receive these services, leaving 8.5 million women
without family planning services.
The federal government spent $317.4 million on Title X in
2009. The Prevention First Act, introduced in this session of
Congress, would increase funding to $700 million per year.
This is a major step towards recognizing and meeting the
need for increased family planning funds.
Experts believe that the government should be spending
$2 billion dollars on Title X to fully meet the public need for necessary family planning services. While that may
sound like a lot, for every $1 spent on family planning
services, the government saves $4.02 in Medicaid
4 Learn more about the Prevention First
Act and the steps you can take to increase family
planning funding in the United States.
THE PREVENTION FIRST ACT
The Prevention First Act, introduced in Congress by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Representative
Louise Slaughter, and Representative Diana DeGette in 2009, expands access to comprehensive sexual
education and contraception in order to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and prevent the
spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The Prevention First Act would:
• Increase the annual funding for the Title X program from $317.4 million to $700 million.
• Allow states to expand access to Medicaid family planning services.
• Require health insurance plans to cover prescription contraceptives if they cover other drugs.
• Provide funding for an emergency contraception (EC) public education program.
• Require emergency rooms to offer EC to victims of sexual assault.
• Provide federal funding for teenage pregnancy prevention programs.
• Require that all programs provide medically accurate information about the health benefits of and failure rates of contraceptives.
Spread the word about the need for increased family planning funding.
Support the Prevention First Act. Print the petition for increased family planning
funding to circulate on campus and in your community. For more information on how to increase access on your campus, visit our Steps to Increase Birth Control Access page.
Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Sexually Transmitted Infections
in the United States” accessed 16 March 2010 at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FIB_STI_US.html
National Women’s Law Center, “Increase Funding for the Title X
Family Planning Program” accessed 12 March 2010 at
Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Publicly Funded Contraceptive
Services in the United States” accessed 12 March 2010 at