Hirono Joins 32 Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) joined Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with 32 Democratic colleagues in the Senate, in introducing the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act. The bill 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.
“As MAGA Republicans work to deprive people across the country of fundamental reproductive care, it is essential that we protect Americans’ access to family planning services,” said Senator Hirono. “Thousands of people in Hawaii and across the country rely on the Title X Family Planning Program for essential reproductive health care, but the program’s unreliable funding makes it susceptible to attacks from radical Republicans. By securing strong, long-term funding for the Title X program, the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act will help ensure everyone can continue to access the critical family planning care they need and deserve now and in the future.”
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.
The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would:
- Provide $500 million in mandatory funding for Title X services for each of the next 10 fiscal years. This is well above the $286 million the program received in FY2022.
- Deliver $50 million in mandatory funding for clinic construction, renovation, and related infrastructure enhancements for each of the next 10 fiscal years.
- Reinstate regulations prohibiting discrimination of providers who deliver Title X services.
- 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.
In addition to Senators Hirono, Smith, Murray, and Warren, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Angus King (I-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CN), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
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.
The full text of the legislation is available here. A bill summary is available here.
A long-time champion for abortion access, Senator Hirono is committed to protecting the fundamental right to abortion care for all. Earlier this month, she joined a letter calling for robust funding for the Title X Family Planning Program. She also convened a working group of Hawaii reproductive leaders to discuss the impact the Supreme Court’s decision will have on women in Hawaii, how to better support access to reproductive care in the state, and how public officials, physicians, and organizations can work together to better support women across the country.
In June, Senator Hirono led several initiatives relating to abortion care and reproductive health. She led her colleagues in urging the Department of Defense to take immediate steps to support and protect female servicemembers seeking abortion services, and introduced the Affordability is Access Act (AAA) to help ensure access to over-the-counter birth control options. Senator Hirono also introduced the My Body, My Data Act, legislation to protect personal reproductive health data by minimizing the information collected and retained, and preventing that information from being disclosed or misused; the bill would protect reproductive health data from sources like fertility tracking apps.
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