Press Releases

Hickenlooper, Bennet, Colleagues Reintroduce Legislation to Support Access to Reproductive Health Care

Jul 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to reintroduce the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act. This legislation protects and improves access to critical reproductive health care services – including birth control and cancer screenings – by providing a dependable funding source for the Title X Family Planning Program.

“Reproductive health care is a right. Strengthening the Title X Family Planning Program will ensure millions of Americans have access to contraceptive care, cancer screenings, and needed exams,” said Hickenlooper.

“The Title X Family Planning Program helps thousands of Coloradans receive reproductive health care every year,” said Bennet. “In the wake of Dobbs, we need to pass this legislation to increase access to family planning and essential reproductive health care services for every American.”

Hundreds of thousands of Americans rely on Title X – the only federal program dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health services. In 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patients received family planning services through Title X. However, since the program is funded through the annual appropriations process, it is subject to an unpredictable funding stream. The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide a consistent and strong funding source for Title X to protect reproductive health care for Americans.

Specifically, the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would:

  • Provide $512 million in mandatory funding for Title X services for each of the next 10 fiscal years.  This is well above the $286.5 million the program received in FY2023.
  • 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. 

“NFPRHA urges the Senate to pass the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, key legislation that would secure strong, consistent funding for Title X, a critical part of the public health safety net that is desperate for more support,” said Clare Coleman, President & CEO, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA). “At a time when reproductive health is under increased attack and in addition to efforts to restore abortion access, Congress has a responsibility to expand access to family planning and sexual health care, such as birth control, cancer screenings, and STI services made possible by Title X. We are grateful for Sen. Smith and Rep. Davids for their support of this important legislation and urge Congress to use any legislative vehicle to provide this needed support for the Title X family planning program as soon as possible.”

In addition to Hickenlooper, Bennet, Smith, Murray, and Warren, this legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (D-Kan.).

This legislation is supported by: The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, NARAL Pro-Choice, National Council of Jewish Women, Physicians for Reproductive THealth, Guttmacher Institute, Upstream USA, National Coalition of STD Directors, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Women’s Law Center, Advocates for Youth, and Power to Decide.  

Hickenlooper and Bennet are committed to defending Americans’ right to access reproductive health care. In May, Hickenlooper and Bennet joined Murray and their colleagues to introduce a bill to protect abortion providers in states like Colorado — where abortion remains legal — from attempts to restrict their practice and create uncertainty about their legal liability. Last month, Hickenlooper and Bennet joined their colleagues to reintroduce the Right to Contraception Act to strengthen the legal right to contraceptives.

The text of the bill is available HERE. A summary is available HERE.

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