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Blumenthal, Murphy Cosponsor Legislation to Protect Access to Birth Control, Reproductive Health Care

Senators’ Expanding Access to Family Planning Act Would Provide Consistent Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program

[HARTFORD, CT]— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today joined a group of their Democratic colleagues in introducing the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, a bill which would protect access to critical reproductive health care services—like birth control, cancer screenings and more—by providing a consistent and strong source of funding for the Title X Family Planning Program.

The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, co-sponsored by Blumenthal and Murphy, will provide $500 million in mandatory funding for Title X services for each of the next 10 fiscal years. The legislation will also deliver $50 million in funding for clinic construction, reinstate regulations prohibiting discrimination of providers who deliver Title X services and require that pregnancy counseling include information about prenatal care and delivery, infant care, foster care, adoption, and pregnancy termination, unless a patient does not have any interest in receiving information about an option. 

The Title X Family Planning Program is the only federal program dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health services. Hundreds of thousands of Americans rely on the program for essential health care. In 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patients received family planning services through Title X. Title X is funded through the annual appropriations process, which subjects the program to an unpredictable funding stream that is insufficient to meet the national need. The Senators’ Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide a consistent and strong source of funding for Title X, at a time when access to reproductive health care is threatened across the nation.

“This critical legislation would boldly bolster federal Title X funding— supporting birth control, pregnancy counseling, cancer screening and other vital health care— which are more important now than ever.  At this crucial moment, as health care rights stand in supreme danger — this step can be a lifeline for the millions of Americans that rely on Title X’s Family Planning Program for reproductive health care,” Blumenthal said. 

“In a post-Roe America, Republicans across the country have been emboldened to pursue an even more radical assault on reproductive health care. Access to family planning, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, lifesaving cancer screenings, and other essential health services are all at risk. Millions of people rely on Title X programs for these services, and this legislation would ensure these critical resources are well-funded and protected from Republican attacks,” said Murphy.

The legislation was introduced by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and is co-sponsored by Blumenthal and Murphy as well as Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Angus King (I-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.),  Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

The bill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Catholics for Choice, the National Partnership for Women & Families, Power to Decide, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Council of Jewish Women, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, ACLU, Advocates for Youth, National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

You can access a summary of the bill here and the full text here.