The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has issued a heavily-biased report to provide backing to Congress for increasing the flow of tax dollars to abortion providers.
Friends of Planned Parenthood are currently ramming the "Prevention First Act" (HR 463 & S 21) through Congress.
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-- From "Report urges boost for US family planning program" by David Crary, Associated Press 2/23/09
Publicly funded family planning prevents nearly 2 million unintended pregnancies and more than 800,000 abortions in the United States each year, saving billions of dollars, according to new research intended to counter conservative objections to expanding the program.
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.
Despite such arguments, federal funding for family planning is a divisive issue.
Last month, under withering Republican criticism, House Democrats abandoned an attempt to include an expansion of family planning services for the poor in the economic stimulus bill. One anti-abortion activist, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, called the short-lived proposal a "shameful population control program that targeted low-income families."
However, Democrats in Congress are not abandoning their overall goal. They plan to push soon for a major funding increase for Title X, the main federal family planning program, as part of broader legislation endorsed by President Barack Obama to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
The Guttmacher report provides ammunition for those who will advocate the funding increase.
The report also endorses pending congressional legislation that would increase funding for Title X family planning. Some advocacy groups hope to more than double the current funding to $700 million a year.
Some conservatives, however, dislike Title X because one of its big recipients is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a major provider of abortions as well as family planning services. Title X funds cannot be used for abortions, but critics contend the federal money frees up other Planned Parenthood funds for its abortion services.
* More than 9 million women — including nearly 2 million under 20 — received publicly funded contraceptive services in 2006.
* Public expenditures for family planning in 2006 totaled $1.85 billion, with 71 percent of the funds coming from the joint federal-state Medicaid program. Twenty-seven states have expanded eligibility for family planning for low-income women who otherwise wouldn't qualify for Medicaid.
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