Senators Warren, Smith, Murray Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding
Senators’ Expanding Access to Family Planning Act Would Provide Strong, Mandatory Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led a group of their Democratic colleagues in introducing the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act. The bill would protect access to critical reproductive health care services—like birth control, cancer screenings, and more—by providing a consistent and strong source of funding for the Title X Family Planning Program.
The Title X Family Planning Program is the only federal program dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health care services. Millions of Americans rely on the program for essential health care. In 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patients received family planning services through Title X. The program is funded through the annual appropriations process, which subjects it to an unpredictable funding stream that is insufficient to meet the national need. The senators’ Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide a consistent and strong source of funding for Title X.
“All across this country, Americans are facing rampant attacks on their reproductive freedom, emboldened by the extremist Supreme Court and radical right-wing politicians,” said Senator Warren. “In the face of these attacks, we must strengthen and expand the Title X Family Planning Program, which ensures access to contraception, cancer screenings, HIV tests, and other essential health care. If Republicans really support women and families, as they claim, they should join us.”
“At a time when Americans’ reproductive freedoms are under attack from extremist Republicans, the Title X Family Planning Program is more important than ever,” said Senator Smith. “Title X funding provides American women with access to critical reproductive health services. I invite all my Republican colleagues who claim to champion family planning services to join us in supporting this commonsense legislation that will protect women’s access to birth control, pregnancy counseling, basic infertility services, and more.”
“Our legislation will strengthen Title X to help more patients get the birth control they need, the cervical and breast cancer screenings that could save their life, and the support they need to plan a family on their own terms,” said Senator Murray. “I’d just ask all of my Republican colleagues—who have been loudly talking about supporting women and have been using their so-called support for family planning to cover up their extreme agenda—what is your word worth? Will you actually support women—and help them get the birth control they need? On Thursday, women across the country will be watching closely.”
The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would:
- Provide $500 million in mandatory funding for Title X services for each of the next 10 fiscal years. This is well above the $286 million the program received in FY2022.
- Deliver $50 million in mandatory funding for clinic construction, renovation, and related infrastructure enhancements for each of the next 10 fiscal years.
- Reinstate regulations prohibiting discrimination of providers who deliver Title X services.
- Require that pregnancy counseling include information about prenatal care and delivery, infant care, foster care, adoption, and pregnancy termination, unless a patient does not have any interest in receiving information about an option.
In addition to Senators Warren, Smith, and Murray, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Angus King (I-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
The bill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Catholics for Choice, the National Partnership for Women & Families, Power to Decide, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Council of Jewish Women, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, ACLU, Advocates for Youth, National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
As the right to abortion is under attack by an extremist Supreme Court and right wing state legislatures, Senator Warren has called on the government to use every tool to protect reproductive care and freedom:
- Last week, Senators Warren, Cory Booker (D-N.J), Alex Padilla, and over a dozen other Senate Democrats wrote to President Biden and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, urging them to immediately declare national and public health emergencies over Americans’ access to reproductive care.
- On July 7, 2022, Senators Warren and Klobuchar sent letters to Facebook and Instagram, calling on them to address their reported censorship of posts related to abortion services, following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last month.
- On July 7, 2022, Senator Warren announced two key data brokers’ commitments to permanently stop selling the location data of people seeking abortion services.
- On June 23, 2022, Senators Warren and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act, legislation that would crack down on false advertising that crisis pregnancy centers employ to dissuade patients from getting the reproductive care they need, including abortion care.
- On June 22, 2022, following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Senators Warren and Smith wrote an op-ed in the New York Times laying out the next steps in the fight to protect the right to an abortion, including calling for the declaration of a public health emergency.
- On June 15, 2022, Senator Warren introduced the Health and Location Data Protection Act, legislation that bans data brokers from selling some of the most sensitive data available about everyday Americans: their health and location data.
- On June 7, 2022, Senators Warren and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) led 23 of their Senate colleagues in a letter to President Biden urging him to immediately issue an executive order directing the federal government to develop a national plan to defend Americans’ fundamental reproductive rights, including their right to an abortion.
- On May 17, 2022, Senator Warren led thirteen of her Senate colleagues in letters to two data brokers demanding answers regarding their collection and sale of the cellphone-based location data of people who visit abortion clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
- On May 10, 2022, Senator Warren delivered a speech on the floor of the United States Senate on the need to protect the constitutional right to an abortion, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and fight back against Republican extremism.
- On May 9, 2022, Senator Warren wrote an op-ed in Marie Claire about the need to enshrine the right to an abortion in federal law.
- On May 3, 2022, when the draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, Senator Warren spoke on the steps of the Supreme Court twice to activists, protestors, and the nation about the need to protect abortion rights.
- On April 28, 2022, Senator Warren delivered a floor speech to fight against Republican efforts to undermine the Title X program and threaten Americans' access to birth control, cancer screenings, HIV tests, and other health care.
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