NH Family Planning Program: Answers to Executive Councilors’ Questions
For Immediate Release: Dec. 17, 2021
In advance of the December 22, 2021 Executive Council meeting, in which Family Planning Program contracts will be on the agenda, Planned Parenthood wanted to make sure all questions raised in the September 15, 2021 meeting - in which Family Planning Program contracts were voted down – were answered in full. We urge the Executive Council to support these critical contracts.
The following questions were from Executive Councilors on September 15, 2021:
Q: Does New Hampshire state law/HB2 include a requirement for abortion providers to be physically separate from family planning services in order to receive state funding?
A: No. There is no provision in HB2 that requires physical separation of abortion services in order to receive Family Planning funding. The language is clear: here is Senator Bradley's introduction and explanation of the new provision for financial reviews, which he introduced in this amendment in the Committee of Conference. In the video, Senator Bradley says that his amendment demonstrates “trust, but verify” that commingling of funds is not happening and that he intended for funds to continue to go to reproductive health facilities, without delay. Prior to his amendment, Rep. Jess Edwards introduced an amendment that would have required physical and financial separation in order to receive state funds. However, Rep. Edwards’s amendment was not adopted.
Q: Are Family Planning Program funds used directly or indirectly to cover costs for abortion care?
A: No. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services conducted a thorough financial review over the course of the summer on the three Family Planning providers that also offer abortion services, reviewing “hundreds, if not thousands of pages of documentation”. The providers complied with every request of the Department. The DHHS Commissioner stated unequivocally, multiple times that their review clearly showed that no Family Planning funds have been used, directly or indirectly, for abortion care. None.
Q: Can’t a family planning provider use the funds from the Family Planning Program to offset costs for abortion services?
A: No. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, per their financial review: “For all of the providers in question, we found that our contracts were not compensating the entities entirely for the family planning programs, and for the three abortion providers, they were not compensating them entirely by quite a margin. In other words, there is no way that our contract dollars could be subsidizing any other programming at those facilities.”
Q: Was every provider forthcoming with information for the financial reviews?
A: Yes. The Department of Health and Human Services stated numerous times throughout the September 15, 2021 meeting that all providers were forthcoming with all information and requests.
Q: If the Trump Administration’s Title X gag rule is lifted (note: the Title X gag rule has been lifted since the 9/15/21 Council meeting), will other providers in the Family Planning Program (such as Federally-Qualified Health Centers) be allowed to provide abortion services as part of this program?
A: No. No family planning provider may use Family Planning Program funding, either directly or indirectly, to cover abortion services, even without the Title X gag rule.
Q: Is “Plan B” (or the morning after pill) the same thing as an abortion pill?
A: Absolutely not. While this was suggested in a previous Executive Council meeting, the truth is very simple: “Plan B,” or the morning after pill, is emergency contraception. Plan B prevents a pregnancy from happening by delaying or stopping ovulation after unprotected sex. It can only be taken before someone is pregnant, and it must be taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex. Emergency contraception is available over the counter.
The abortion pill terminates a pregnancy. Patients can choose medication abortion to safely end a pregnancyup to 11 weeks into pregnancy.
Q: Does the Family Planning Program cover the morning after pill?
A: The Family Planning Program covers contraception, and the morning after pill is emergency contraception. As answered by the Department of Health and Human Services: “[the morning after pill] is included as a range of contraception. It prevents conception.”
Q: Can minors receive Emergency Contraception at PPNNE?
A: Yes, minors have access to Emergency Contraction at PPNNE and also at all pharmacies. Emergency Contraception (“Plan B”) is available over the counter at all major pharmacy chains and IDs are not required for purchase.
Q: Can the patients in the Family Planning Program receive the same services from Medicaid instead?
A: Not necessarily. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “Yes, many patients can receive individual services through Medicaid in other health care facilities. What Title X [the Family Planning Program] does particularly well is have a comprehensive approach that provides care for anyone who is low-income. They provide confidential care, even for an adult who needs to seek confidential care in cases of domestic violence. That is what this [program] provides. Title X ensures that there is a full range of contraceptive methods available so that individuals have the full choice, whether that is pills or an implant, that all of those things are paid for. That’s what Title X pays for that an individual provider may not.”
Q: Two Executive Councilors expressed concern that providers, such as PPNNE, perform sterilizations on minors without parental consent. Is that true?
A: No. PPNNE in New Hampshire does not perform sterilizations at all. PPNNE does perform vasectomies at the Burlington, VT location.