CONCORD – Today, an amendment was introduced to the New Hampshire state budget (House Finance Division 3) that would force Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) and other safety net providers out of the state family planning program, endangering access to essential sexual and reproductive health care for more than 16,000 low-income and uninsured Granite Staters.
This amendment, which is nearly identical to the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule, imposes totally unnecessary physical separation requirements for abortion care and requires providers to violate their duty to provide information that is complete, accurate, and honest to patients. This unethical gag rule is in direct conflict with Planned Parenthood’s medical standards and guidelines.
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.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, Senior Director of Public Affairs for PPNNE and PPNHAF:
“In the middle of a public health crisis, some New Hampshire budget writers are prioritizing stripping away essential sexual and reproductive health care from those who already face the greatest barriers to care, including low-income people, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people in rural communities. More than 16,000 Granite Staters rely on the state family planning program to access birth control, STD testing and treatment, and other essential health care. This proposed amendment is an egregious interference in the patient-provider relationship that forces providers to violate their duty to provide information that is complete, accurate, and honest to patients.
“This amendment was introduced with minimal opportunity for public comment. Granite Staters deserve to be able to voice their opinions about such a significant budget change. We urge the House Finance Committee to vote down this harmful amendment and instead prioritize a budget that protects Granite Staters’ health care during this pandemic.”
On Thursday, the Biden-Harris administration announced plans to propose regulations to end the Title X gag rule. This action follows the administration’s review of the harmful policy, initiated shortly after taking office. While this is a great first step, we do not expect grants to go into effect again until 2022.
The Importance of PPNNE’s Family Planning Services for Granite State 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.
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.
PPNNE is the only family planning provider in Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, two of the most underserved parts of our state.
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).