Back Us Up: New Guttmacher Data Supports Family Planning Aid

The Guttmacher Institute is releasing a new report that confirms the foolishness of placing family planning aid on the back burner.

The Guttmacher Institute has released a new report that confirms the foolishness of placing family planning aid on the back burner.

The report found that publicly funded family planning prevents more than 800,000 abortions and almost 2 million unintended pregnancies annually in the United States.  Needless to say, given the costs associated childbirth, this new data spells out savings for taxpayers as a direct result of such funding.  


Report co-author Rachel Benson Gold called the family planning program "smart government at its best," asserting that every dollar spent on it saves taxpayers $4 in costs associated with unintended births to mothers eligible for Medicaid-funded natal care.


After Medicaid family planning aid was dropped from the stimulus bill, many expressed a conviction that since the provision wasn’t directly stimulus-oriented, it would simply be picked up elsewhere, myself included. However, the measure is nowhere in sight in the 2009 Spending Bill (set for approval on Thursday). This conspicuous absence suggests that such hope may have been too optimistic.

But the report gives some real backing to what should be a no-brainer: expanding provisions for family planning is common sense in times like these. 

Is it too idealistic to expect that this data will spur Congress to take family planning measures off the bench? Or is the "Planned Parenthood bailout" and "tax-payer-funded abortions" argument taking too huge a toll on the progress of these issues?

As Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser suggested earlier this week:


President Obama may very well be supplying an ‘overreach’ moment for the right to life movement by attempting to require taxpayers to fully fund abortions in federal programs and the domestic and international abortion industries themselves.  This ‘abortion industry bailout’ during a time of acute economic crisis is a dramatic overreach that far outstrips citizens’ public opinion…Obama’s overreach gives pro-life human rights advocates in the mold of Susan B. Anthony reason to hope.  A turning point for protecting the unborn could well be on the horizon.


I’m going to stick to my guns and hope that hope will prevail. It’s too early to be loosing faith in the platform that won Obama his Oval Office. So let the Guttmacher report show congress the necessity of continuing to bring family planning aid up to bat, especially since the ranks of low-income women who absolutely need this funding will continue to expand. 

And on that note, I’m holding Obama to his word:

When the science is inconvenient, when the facts don’t match up… they are cast aside. Well it’s time for us to change that. It’s time for a different attitude in the White House.