March 5, 2020

Bill to Ensure Planned Parenthood Funding In Wake Of Trump Administration Cuts, Co-Sponsored By Senator Abrams, Receives Public Hearing

HARTFORD – Today, legislation that would close a funding gap caused by President Donald Trump’s intended changes to the Title X Family Planning Program received a public hearing in the Human Services Committee. This legislation, co-sponsored by State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire) counters the President’s intended changes, which are still being legally challenged by 20 states.

“We should put our money into the things we care about, and it is time that we stand up for women in this state when the federal government will not,” said Sen. Abrams. “We must protect Planned Parenthood in its ability to provide women with all the health care options to which they are legally entitled, and ensure that the many people who receive a diverse range of services from Planned Parenthood can continue to do so. Places like Planned Parenthood provide essential health care to people who might not be able to afford it otherwise, and the lack of Title X federal funding threatens these people’s access to time sensitive healthcare. I call upon the Human Services Committee to pass this bill and move us one step closer to fully funding this vital healthcare service.”

Senate Bill 274, “An Act Concerning Increased Funding to Planned Parenthood and Other Family Planning Clinics,” would provide state Title X family planning clinics in Connecticut with an additional $2.4 million in funding. Such an amount would rectify the drastic cuts made by President Trump’s administration.

In response to a gag order issued by the Trump administration prohibiting health care providers from counseling patients about abortion, Planned Parenthood announced it will no longer receive Title X funding to avoid the consequences of the order. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, which operates 12 health clinics in Connecticut, would forego $2.1 million in federal funding under that rule. While 20 states are challenging the gag order, a federal appeals court ruled the policy changes can take effect while those lawsuits continue.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England statistics show that nearly 44,000 patients received services and support through Title X funding in 2017. One-third of those patients were under the age of 25, one-third of those patients earned less than $12,000, one-third were Latino and one-third were African American. Nationally, more than four million people rely on Title X funding to access essential health care.