The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

PPFA Media Office, 212-261-4433

Statement by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on President Obama's 2012 Budget

Planned Parenthood Applauds Obama Administration for Defying Shortsighted Attacks on Family Planning, Moves to Maintain Full Investment in Lifesaving Title X Family Health Program


"Planned Parenthood applauds President Obama for calling for an increased investment today in an essential women's health care program, the national family planning program, Title X. The president's newly released budget for Fiscal Year 2012 demonstrates that this administration has the foresight to preserve programs that save money and save lives. The White House has taken a strong stand to prevent teen pregnancy through evidence-based approaches, and to sustain the nation's bedrock family planning program, Title X.

"While acknowledging that savings are necessary in the current fiscal climate, President Obama firmly defended the investments in education and family health services as keys to our country's future.

"Unlike the House Republicans' Continuing Resolution for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011, which Congress is debating this week, the president's budget proposes a $10 million increase to the Title X program, calling for this critical program to be funded at $327 million.

"Under the guise of deficit reduction, House Republicans are working aggressively to eliminate the Title X program, which has provided lifesaving preventive and primary care for low-income women since President Nixon signed it into law in 1970. Health centers funded through Title X save women's lives by detecting breast and cervical cancer at early stages, by offering testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, screening for high blood pressure, and providing immunizations. These clinics also prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year, thus reducing the need for abortion. And family planning also saves the government money -- about $3.74 for every dollar invested.

"While working to cut off funding for the Title X program, Representative Mike Pence, with the full support of Speaker John Boehner, will also offer an amendment to prohibit all Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any federal funds for any purpose, including providing affordable cancer screenings, birth control, HIV testing, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. The new leaders of the House are pushing these dangerous proposals forward at great risk to women, and they are doing so at their own political peril.

"Some 60 percent of women who receive care in a family planning health center - like those affiliated with Planned Parenthood - say it's their main source of health care. The vast majority live at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and two thirds lack health insurance. Eliminating the Title X program at a time like this would not just be shortsighted. It would be cruel.

"The administration's 2012 budget also sustains the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program at the current level of $110 million. Planned Parenthood applauds the White House for making this a priority.

"While shoring up women's health domestically, President Obama is taking important steps to sustain family planning efforts throughout the developing world. The proposed 2012 budget includes $625.6 million for the International Family Planning and Reproductive Health initiative.

"This is $35.6 million more than the president requested for Fiscal Year 2011. If fully funded, it would bring a much-needed $100.6 million increase over the amount approved for allocation this year. The President's budget includes $47 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a slight ($3 million) decrease from last year's request. If adopted, it would reduce actual spending by $8 million from current levels. Planned Parenthood hopes this is a temporary setback. UNFPA is a vital partner in our efforts to improve women's health around 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.