March 19, 2012

To:              Members of the U.S. Senate

From:          Elisabeth MacNamara, President

Re:              Support Family Planning, Fund Title X

The League of Women Voters has long supported the Title X program, which provides family planning services to millions of Americans.  As Congress begins to debate FY 2013 appropriations bills, we urge you to support and fund this critically important program.

Since 1970, Title X has provided family planning and reproductive health care services to millions of low-income individuals and families. The record is clear: over 5.2 million patients have received preventative health care services including immunizations, screening for cancer, and family planning services.  Studies have determined that every $1.00 spent on Title X saves $4.02 in Medicaid costs.  We believe that Title X services are critical for the health of women and their families throughout the country.

Yet in the past few years, as the numbers of people living in poverty and in need of Title X services has increased, Congress has cut funding to the Title X program.  In the past two years alone, over $23 million has been cut from the program.  The League urges you to reverse this trend and include $315 million for the Title X family planning program in the FY2013 LHHS Appropriations bill. 

The League of Women Voters has a long-standing interest in programs and policies that provide access to health care for all residents of the United States.  Since 1992, when League members studied the issue of health care, we have worked for comprehensive health care coverage for all Americans.  The League also has a strong commitment to the concept that public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices. 

The League is very concerned that the Congressional debate over funding Title X has become an ideological one, ignoring the real need for Title X services.  Congressional cuts reduce the services offered by Title X centers and directly impact the health of patients and their families

We believe that this program has proven itself over the forty years that it has been in operation and that it provides health care and family planning services for women and their families who might have no other option. We urge you to support the Title X program in FY 2013.

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