Fact #1: The cost to Medicaid of a woman giving birth, from prenatal care through one year of care for mother and infant, is slightly less than $13,000. Fact #2: The cost to Medicaid of supplying that same woman with one year’s worth of contraception is $257. Fact #3: After all the numbers have been crunched, studies show that every dollar invested in family planning services saves taxpayers nearly $4. The bottom line is that women's health programs save lives and save taxpayers money.
So naturally, given the state of the economy and the growing call for the government to reel in costs, the fiscally prudent thing to do would be…cut funding for family planning programs?
Something’s just not adding up.
But that’s exactly what House Republicans are trying to do with a new budget bill for fiscal year 2012. Proposed by Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, the bill calls for the elimination of Title X, the program that provides family planning services and preventive care for low-income men and women. Eliminating or cutting funding for these vital programs would have a devastating impact on women's access to basic health care.
Rehberg’s proposal is at best a case of misguided math that would worsen the economic situation it seeks to correct, and at worst a thinly veiled attack on women’s health couched as a means of saving money. Planned Parenthood calls on all members to reject this attack on the health and rights of the women they serve… and maybe brush up on their math skills, too.