WASHINGTON - JULY 27 - Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today applauded members of the House who stood up for women's health and voted in support of the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill on July 19, 2007. This bill includes funding increases for vital family planning services that will protect women's health and help women and couples plan strong, healthy families.
“Planned Parenthood applauds the overwhelming majority of members of Congress who stood up and voted in favor of women’s health and safety and Planned Parenthood’s prevention agenda,” said PPFA president Cecile Richards. “Nearly 17 million low-income women in the U.S. need subsidized family planning services, and there is simply not enough funding to meet the need. This vote represents an important victory in the fight to protect and improve the health and safety of women and families across the nation — and is exactly the direction that Congress should be heading.”
By a vote of 276–140, House members supported key family planning provisions in the appropriations bill, including
• $28 million increase for Title X, the nation’s family planning program. This is the third-largest increase in the program's history and the first increase in six years.
• Creation of Teen Pregnancy Prevention grants — a new $10 million funding stream to support factually and medically accurate approaches to prevent teen pregnancy
• $99 million increase for the Ryan White AIDS/HIV prevention programs
• $200 million increase for Community Health Centers. This extra funding will allow an additional one million uninsured people to be served at one of these centers.
• $57 million increase for Maternal and Child Health Block Grants, which help new parents to prepare for childbirth and to reduce infant mortality
• $18 million increase for the Healthy Start program, which provides primary and preventive health care for mothers and infants
• $59 million increase for the Vaccines for Children program, which includes funding for the HPV vaccine, which can prevent the virus that causes cervical cancer
• $9 million for Johanna's law, a new program aimed at preventing gynecologic cancer
• $157 million for the CDC Infertility Prevention project, which includes chlamydia testing and treatment
Unfortunately, the appropriations bill also contains provisions for abstinence-only programs, which deny teens age-appropriate, medically accurate information they need to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. These provisions include a $28 million increase for the Community Based Abstinence Education program and $30 million for the Adolescent Family Life Act, an abstinence-only funding stream. Studies have shown that teens who participate in abstinence-only programs are less likely to use contraception when they become sexually active than peers who receive medically accurate sex education. PPFA is joined by other leading medical providers, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine, in denouncing these dangerous programs, and urging Congress to support comprehensive sex education instead.
“There is a public health care crisis in this country — approximately 750,000 U.S. teens will become pregnant this year, and nearly four million of them will contract a sexually transmitted infection in part because they don't have access to the information they need to make responsible decisions about their health," added Richards. “We urge Congress to stop wasting money on programs that don’t work, and to support education programs that will help American families. We should support programs that include information about abstinence as well as contraception, healthy communication, responsible decision making and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.”
Every year, Planned Parenthood provides millions of women, men and teens with health care information and services. For more information about Planned Parenthood's Prevention First agenda, visit http://www.plannedparenthood.org/.