Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
today cosponsored legislation that protects 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.

“Every year,
thousands of Oregonians rely on Title X family planning services for essential
information about contraception and reproductive health care options,” Wyden
said. “With basic family planning measures like birth control under attack
nationwide, investing in reproductive health care clinics and protecting
medical professionals is a must. I’m proud to cosponsor the Expanding Access
to Family Planning Act
to safeguard and help guarantee reproductive
healthcare in Oregon and across the country for years to come.”

“Access to
comprehensive reproductive health care and family planning services is a
fundamental right that must be protected for all Americans, especially in the
face of relentless attacks by the Supreme Court and right-wing politicians,” said
Senator Merkley. “This is why I am co-sponsoring the Expanding Access to Family
Planning Act, which will direct mandatory funding for Title X services and
ensure patients have the resources they need to access birth control,
preventive cancer screenings, pregnancy counseling, and other critical health
care services. Everyone should have the freedom to live their lives without
politicians forcing their way into our bedrooms and exam rooms.”

The Title X Family
Planning Program is the only federal program dedicated to providing
comprehensive family planning and preventive health services. Hundreds of
thousands 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 Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide a
consistent and strong source of funding for Title X.

The Expanding
Access to Family Planning Act

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. 

The bill is led by U.S.
Senators Tina Smith, D-Minn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Elizabeth Warren,
D-Mass. Alongside Wyden and Merkley, the legislation was cosponsored by U.S.
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., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Tammy Baldwin,
D-Wis., Jack Reed, D-R.I., 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., and Mark Warner, D-Va.

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.

A summary of the
bill is here.

The full text of the
bill is here.