For Immediate Release: May 23, 2017
Contact: Jesse Boyer
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 331
President’s Budget Actively Harms Health, Needs, and Rights of the Nation
First Administration Budget Devastates Social Programs Including Health Promotion Efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 Budget, the first of his Administration, not only fails to meet the health, safety, and wellness needs of people across the country, it puts additional burdens on those already most vulnerable in our society.
In the midst of trillions of dollars in destructive cuts to services assisting struggling families, supporting people with disabilities, and serving children, the President’s Budget eliminates the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program that supports evidence-based education helping young people plan for their families and futures. Furthermore, the President’s Budget proposes a $147 million cut to HIV prevention and research efforts within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The President’s Budget is an affront to the very values of our nation and an attack on our sexual and reproductive health and rights,” says Chitra Panjabi, President & CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
“Rather than promoting health for all communities by protecting access to health education and care, the President’s funding proposal sows further inequity and burdens already marginalized communities in our country,” Panjabi continues.
The budget assumes adoption of the American Health Care Act, resulting in millions of people losing health care coverage and prohibiting any federal funds for Planned Parenthood, further restricting millions of people’s access to care. Additionally, it includes drastic cuts to the Department of Education, including local resources for student support and academic programs such as health education and safe relationships behavior instruction and training. The cuts continue with dramatic reductions proposed to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the National Institutes of Health, and public assistance for needy families.
Even with these and other historic cuts to non-defense funding, the President’s budget still includes a $160 million proposal to continue wasteful funding for harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
Says Panjabi, “It is sadly no surprise that in a budget that so egregiously attacks the most basic of individual, family, and community needs, this Administration would continue to add to the $2 billion spent over the last 35 years used to shame young people through abstinence-only programs rather than preparing them to make healthy decisions throughout their lives.
The President’s Budget attacks not only the sexual and reproductive education and health needs of young people, women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and low-income families, but our basic human rights. SIECUS rejects the President’s Budget and calls on Congress to do the same.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sexuality education, sexual health and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.