The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Planned Parenthood Applauds Congress for Prioritizing Reproductive Health in 2010 Appropriations

Bill Ends Funding of Failed Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs, Funds International Reproductive Health Care at Highest Levels Ever


Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today praised
Congress for the passage of the 2010 Appropriations Bill, which
provides funding for important programs that provide women and families
with access to preventive care worldwide. The omnibus spending bill,
for the first time, eliminates funding for failed
abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, in favor of funding
evidence-based sex education that has proven effective in preventing
unintended pregnancy. The appropriations measure will also fund
international reproductive health and family planning at an all-time

"We commend Congress for ending the funding of the
abstinence-only programs that have failed our young people, as
evidenced by the epidemic rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually
transmitted infections" said PPFA President Cecile Richards. "At
Planned Parenthood we see firsthand the benefit of ensuring young
people have access to comprehensive, medically accurate reproductive
health information in order to lead healthy, productive lives."

The new evidence-based teen pregnancy initiative will replace the
Community Based Abstinence Education program implemented under the
previous administration. The new initiative, funded at $114 million,
will be administered by the newly authorized Office of Adolescent
Health in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Health and
Human Services. In addition, Title X, the nation's family planning
program, received a $10 million increase for a total of $317,491,000,
which still falls short of adequately funding the program.

Under the 2010 appropriation, international reproductive health care
and family planning will receive the highest levels of funding ever at
$648 million, including $55 million for UNFPA, the United Nations
Population Fund. Unfortunately, the international news was not all
positive, as language adopted this year by the Senate Appropriations
Committee to permanently repeal the global gag rule was not included in
the final bill.

Lastly, the omnibus appropriations eliminates a long-standing
prohibition on the District of Columbia's use of locally raised tax
dollars for medically necessary abortion care for low-income
women. This prohibition was also eliminated in the president's budget
and marks a tremendous change for the District of Columbia, which will
now be able to make the same decision as the 50 states whether to use
local funds for abortion care.

"Access to reproductive health care for women and girls is
critical in our efforts to strengthen families around the world,"
Richards continued. "We applaud Congress for prioritizing this
important work and look forward to continuing to reach more people in
need through our work in 11 countries across the globe."

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is many things to many people. We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital health care services, sex education, and sexual health information to millions of women, men, and young people.