House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Passes Harmful Bill: Despite Failed Efforts to Restore Funding to Key Programs, Appropriations Committee Passes Bill That Could Reverse Progress 

Jul 20 2017

(Washington, DC)—The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is deeply disappointed by U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s passage yesterday of the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill. The bill, which passed last night, eliminates funding for vital programs that provide young women education and resources that give them the ability to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant. 

Rep. Lowey (D-NY) offered an amendment to restore funding for the Title X Family Planning Program and Rep. Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment to restore the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, but despite bi-partisan support for both, the amendments failed.

“Unfortunately, this bill takes our nation backwards. It not only forestalls progress, but has the potential to reverse the progress we have made in reducing teen and unplanned pregnancy,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign. “This bill eliminates investments in the gold-standard, evidence-based TPP program as well as high quality contraceptive access for low-income people. Together, these programs have historically contributed to the nation’s declining rates of teen childbearing and unplanned pregnancy, so why now would we mess with success?” 

Specifically, the House bill would:

  • Eliminate the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, currently funded at $101 million.
  • Eliminate the Title X Family Planning Program currently funded at $286.5 million.
  • Provide $20 million for “Sexual Risk Avoidance” education (otherwise known as abstinence education), $5 million more than the current funding level.
  • Prohibit any funding in the LHHS appropriations bill from going to Planned Parenthood.

Nationally representative polling from The National Campaign shows that 85% of adults favor continuing the TPP Program (including 75% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats). The polling also shows that 75% of adults favor continuing the Title X program (including 66% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats). 

The TPP Program has been lauded by independent experts as a stellar example of how to implement evidence-based policymaking—something that should be expanded, not eliminated. Meanwhile, more than 19 million women in need of publicly funded contraception live in contraceptive deserts, meaning they lack reasonable access to a public clinic offering the full range of birth control methods. Eliminating all Title X funding will exacerbate these large gaps in access and deepen existing disparities.

“These funding cuts are short-sighted and counterproductive and are at odds with the strong bi-partisan public support for these programs,” Ehrlich said. “Investing in evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention and access to high quality contraception through Title X helps to save tax dollars, reduce unplanned pregnancy, reduce abortion, and enable greater educational and economic opportunities for all young people in our nation. We urge the Senate to maintain funding for these critical programs.”

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit us at www.TheNationalCampaign.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

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