Since Nixon was president, the U.S. has invested in public health programs to enable low income individuals to access contraception and some other reproductive health services. Recent debates have focused on one of the providers of these services – Planned Parenthood – though little has been said about the other key providers, state agencies and county health departments. Some in the House of Representatives have tried to eliminate funding for these cost- effective services.
Even with the expansion of health care coverage for people – including preventive health services for women – 30 million people will still be without health care coverage. Millions will still need some help in paying for primary care services, including contraception, breast exams, Pap tests and STD screening and treatment. These preventive services can improve women’s health and reduce the need for abortion. Six in ten women who obtain health care from a family planning center consider it to be their usual source of health care. And for budget watchers – spending a little money to prevent an unintended pregnancy saves about 4 times as much in other health care costs we all pay for.
The Title X (that’s a roman numeral 10) program supports services for 5 million women and men through 98 public and private nonprofit grantees in nearly 4,300 service delivery sites across the country. State, county, and local health departments make up the majority of Title X service providers -- hospitals and other private non-profit organizations make up the rest.
Sign my petition asking Jim Lehrer, moderator of the first presidential debate to dig a little deeper on the issue of contraceptive access. How do the candidates want to address the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies don’t happen on purpose? Should helping families plan for having the number of children they want and can afford be part of promoting economic growth? We want to know more about where they really stand.