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House Proposal Decimates Vital Health Spending

 

For Immediate Release                                                                        Contact Patrick Malone
February 16, 2011                                                                               (202) 265-2405
                                                                                                            pmalone@siecus.org
 

 
Washington, D.C.  – Last week, the House of Representatives released the final appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2011. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2011 slashes spending in vital areas from the President’s budget request, including drastically reducing the funding of several offices and programs that are dedicated to protecting and improving the health of Americans. These cuts will have a devastating impact on health care access and prevention education for Americans across the country.  This continuing resolution will fund the federal government for the remaining seven months of Fiscal Year 2011.
 
Along with more than 70 other cuts, the continuing resolution will cut (compared to FY 2010 levels):
  • $110 million from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (eliminating all funding)
  • $318 million from Title X family planning (eliminating all funding)
  • $1.4 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • $747 million for the Women Infants and Children program (WIC)
  • $50 million for Maternal and Child Health Block Grants 
  • $1.6 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 
“With their first major spending proposal, the new Republican majority in the House, led here by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, is showing its true colors,” said Monica Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. “Cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from programs like family planning, the Maternal and Child Health Block Grants, and WIC is not only short sighted, it’s unconscionable. The Federal budget should not be balanced on the backs of those who are most vulnerable and in need.”
 
In total, the continuing resolution will cut $100 billion in spending from the budget that President Obama proposed. Most of these cuts will come from non-security, discretionary spending. While trying to pass off the decision to cut so deeply as being motivated by promises to enact “fiscal responsibility,” they are actually targeting programs that many ultra-conservative Members of Congress have been trying to get rid of for years. They are setting up a scenario where Members of Congress may be forced to choose between eliminating much needed health care, family planning services, and sex education initiatives and shutting down the federal government.
 
“Family planning and reproductive health are under direct assault by the Republican majority,” continued Rodriguez. “Not only will spending cuts to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and family planning increase the number of young women who may be faced with an unplanned pregnancy, but the cuts to many of the other programs will eliminate options for pre-natal care and force those young women who do become new mothers to struggle even harder to put food on the table and raise their children into healthy adults.”
 
With questions or comments please contact Patrick Malone at pmalone@siecus.org or (202)265-2405.
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