July 21, 2022

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today cosponsored legislation that protects 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.

“Every year, thousands of Oregonians rely on Title X family planning services for essential information about contraception and reproductive health care options,” Wyden said. “With basic family planning measures like birth control under attack nationwide, investing in reproductive health care clinics and protecting medical professionals is a must. I'm proud to cosponsor the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act to safeguard and help guarantee reproductive healthcare in Oregon and across the country for years to come.”

“Access to comprehensive reproductive health care and family planning services is a fundamental right that must be protected for all Americans, especially in the face of relentless attacks by the Supreme Court and right-wing politicians,” said Senator Merkley. “This is why I am co-sponsoring the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, which will direct mandatory funding for Title X services and ensure patients have the resources they need to access birth control, preventive cancer screenings, pregnancy counseling, and other critical health care services. Everyone should have the freedom to live their lives without politicians forcing their way into our bedrooms and exam rooms.”

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. The 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. 

The bill is led by U.S. Senators Tina Smith, D-Minn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Alongside Wyden and Merkley, the legislation was cosponsored by U.S. 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., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., 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.


A summary of the bill is here.


The full text of the bill is here.