CONCORD – Today, a majority of House budget writers (Finance Division III) passed an amendment that would gut the New Hampshire Family Planning Program, risking access to essential sexual and reproductive health care for thousands of low-income and uninsured Granite Staters.
The amendment would defund state Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) and independent abortion providers and prevent Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) from contracting with these providers to deliver the full range of medically accurate information and services to patients.
This amendment imposes totally unnecessary “physical separation” requirements between abortion care and preventive care. By requiring separate brick and mortar facilities, this amendment is designed to push reproductive health care providers out of the program. These requirements are more than just a burden, they are impossible to comply with. In addition to creating financial barriers, these requirements shame abortion patients and providers by singling out abortion care -- a safe and constitutionally-protected medical service.
State funds are already barred from being used for abortion care. This politically-motivated amendment is clearly only intended to make it impossible for abortion providers to participate in the state family planning program.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, Senior Director of Public Affairs for PPNNE and PPNHAF:
“It is truly shameful that some House budget writers have decided to advance an amendment that defunds essential health care providers during a pandemic. This amendment would harm low-income and uninsured Granite Staters during a public health crisis by slashing access to birth control, STD testing and treatment, and other essential health care. Make no mistake, this amendment guts the family planning program, shames women, and is an intrusion on patient-provider relationships -- and it would disproportionately harm those who already face the greatest barriers to care, including low-income people, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people in rural communities. This is not what Granite Staters want their lawmakers focused on, and we look forward to educating budget writers as the state budget process continues.”
The New Hampshire Family Planning Program funds essential sexual and reproductive health care, including birth control, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings; it does not fund abortion care.
In the last year, 97 percent of chlamydia and gonorrhea testing in the program was completed by these providers. Gonorrhea and syphilis are both in outbreak status in New Hampshire and there has also been a dramatic increase in cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea over recent years.
The Importance of PPNNE’s Family Planning Services for Granite State Patients:
PPNNE serves nearly 70% of the New Hampshire Title X family planning patients
In 2020, PPNNE saw 10,872 patients at five NH health centers. The most frequent reasons for PPNNE patients’ care were family planning, contraception, and counseling and symptom visits.
PPNNE is the only family planning provider in Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, two of the most underserved parts of our state.
Last year, 65 percent of PPNNE’s New Hampshire patients had low incomes. (Low income is defined as twice the Federal Poverty Level, or $25,520 for a household of 1).
Whether in person or through telehealth, patients were able to access $2.4 million worth of free and discounted care last year with help from the New Hampshire Family Planning Program.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and young people across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. In 2019, we saw more than 13,000 patients at these sites.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC).