CONCORD -- Today, the New Hampshire House passed a budget that decimates the New Hampshire Family Planning Program by defunding reproductive health care facilities, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
This budget imposes totally unnecessary “physical separation” requirements between abortion care and preventative care that are impossible to comply with. By requiring separate brick and mortar facilities, this amendment is designed to push reproductive health care providers out of the program.
The budget also prevents Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) from contracting with these providers to deliver the full range of medically accurate information and services to patients. Family planning providers who also perform abortion care saw nearly 12,000 Granite Staters for preventative family planning services in 2020 alone.
The majority of the house also rejected floor amendment #2021-1077h which would have ensured proper funding for NH’s family planning program, assuring no interruptions to patient care. As is, the family planning line is dangerously underfunded because there is currently no federal Title X funding.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, Senior Director of Public Affairs for PPNNE and PPNHAF:
“The budget that the New Hampshire House just passed completely dismantles NH’s family planning program by defunding reproductive health care facilities. This dangerous and shortsighted move risks access to birth control, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings for thousands low-income and uninsured Granite Staters -- all while we’re trying to recover from a public health crisis. It is shameful that the House majority remains focused on stripping away access to health care and undermining our state’s positive public health outcomes, even in a pandemic.”
“In addition to defunding reproductive health care facilities, this callous budget dangerously underfunds the entire New Hampshire Family Planning Program, further endangering access to essential reproductive health care for the Granite Staters who already face the greatest barriers to care, including people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and people in rural communities.”
It would be impossible for providers to accomplish this “separation” in a way that would preserve the delivery of services in the efficient and cost-effective manner that Granite Staters depend on. These requirements add enormous regulatory burdens on health centers (administrative, licensing, and auditing to name a few). Additionally, forcing the creation of a separate facility that singles out abortion care is stigmatizing, shaming, and a public safety concern. Patients and staff will be subjected to additional harassment and privacy intrusions. None of these proposed requirements contribute to the health of patients or our communities.
How this Budget Could Harm Public Health:
Cervical cancer screening rates have declined during COVID-19, and sustained disruptions could lead to increased risk for cervical cancers and precancers.
Family planning providers who also perform abortion care saw nearly 12,000 Granite Staters for preventative family planning services in 2020 alone. In Cheshire and Sullivan counties, PPNNE is the only family planning provider.
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).