CONCORD – Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) in New Hampshire applauded on Wednesday the final passage of a budget that protects funding for reproductive health care for more than 16,000 Granite Staters and fully funds the state STD/HIV prevention program.
The budget includes $3.2 million (over two years) of family planning funding to ensure that patients can continue to access affordable family planning services while the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule is in effect.
Planned Parenthood and five other Title X family planning providers in New Hampshire, including federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), have been forced out of the Title X program because of the gag rule. Together, these providers represent two-thirds of the Title X providers in New Hampshire.
By approving a final budget with this funding, New Hampshire has shown it will stand up against the Trump administration’s attacks on reproductive health and will protect access to health care for all, including lower-income people.
The budget also includes $700,000 over the biennium to restore the state-supported HIV/STD prevention program. During fiscal years 2012/2013, the HIV/STD prevention program was completely eliminated from the budget. Since then, New Hampshire has experienced a spike in sexually transmitted diseases across the state. Gonorrhea and syphilis are both in outbreak status, and there’s been a dramatic increase in chlamydia over the last five years.
Statement from Sabrina Dunlap, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, NH:
“PPNNE applauds the passage of a final budget for the Granite State that includes funding to protect essential family planning services. We are grateful to legislative leaders who worked to ensure that more than 16,000 Title X patients in New Hampshire can continue to access critical reproductive health services, including birth control, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings, regardless of income or zip code. We are also pleased to see that the budget includes funding to restore the state HIV/STD prevention program, which will help address the alarming spike in STDs New Hampshire has seen in recent years.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced changes to the federal Title X program (the “gag rule”) that has dismantled the program in New Hampshire, and throughout the country. The gag rule makes it impossible for providers to offer complete ethical, quality care, prohibits referrals for safe, legal abortion, and imposes costly and unnecessary requirements on health centers that provide abortions. That’s why six of nine New Hampshire Title X providers, including PPNNE, are unable to participate in the Title X program while this rule is in effect, regardless of whether or not they provide abortion care.
Established in 1970, Title X is the only nationwide family planning program, and serves 4 million people each year, including approximately 16,000 people in NH. It is intended to ensure that every person — regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether they have health insurance — has access to basic, preventive reproductive health care, including birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and annual exams (Title X dollars cannot be used to cover abortion services).
New Polling Shows Widespread Opposition to Trump’s Title X Gag Rule & Consequences for Legislators that Support it
New polling released last week shows that voters in Arizona, Colorado and key swing Congressional districts nationwide oppose the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule, and are less likely to support legislators that don’t act to block it.
In House swing districts, 57% of voters opposed the gag rule, including 55 percent of independents and 61% of suburban women.
In Colorado, by a 40-point margin, 61% of voters oppose the Trump administration’s gag rule compared to 21% who favor the policy.
In Arizona, by a 31-point margin, 58% of voters say they oppose the Trump administration's gag rule compared to 27% who favor the policy.
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. Last year we saw nearly 14,000 patients at these sites.