Bennet, Hickenlooper, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

Expanding Access to Family Planning Act Would Provide Consistent Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program

Washington, D.C.— Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper joined their Democratic colleagues to introduce the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act. This legislation would protect and improve access to critical reproductive health care services such as birth control, cancer screenings, and other treatments by providing a strong and consistent funding source for the Title X Family Planning Program.

“Reproductive health care is under attack in this country,” said Bennet. “Congress has an obligation to strengthen Title X and protect the Americans who depend on it.” 

“Health care is a right not a privilege. That includes reproductive health care. Strengthening the Title X Family Planning Program will ensure millions of Americans have access to critical services such as contraceptive care, cancer screenings, and pregnancy counseling,” said Hickenlooper.

The Title X Family Planning Program is the only federal program dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health services. Tens of thousands of Coloradans and hundreds of thousands of Americans rely on the program for essential reproductive health care. In 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patients received family planning services through Title X. Title X is funded through the annual appropriations process, which subjects the program to an unpredictable funding stream that is insufficient to meet national need. The senators’ Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide mandatory funding for Title X.

The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would:

  • Provide $500 million in mandatory funding for Title X services for each of the next 10 fiscal years.  This is well above the $286 million the program received in FY2022. 
  • 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.

In addition to Bennet and Hickenlooper, this legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Angus King (I-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

The bill is endorsed by: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Catholics for Choice, the National Partnership for Women & Families, Power to Decide, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Council of Jewish Women, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, ACLU, Advocates for Youth, National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

A one-page summary of the bill is available HERE. The bill text is available HERE

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Bennet remains committed to protecting reproductive rights. Last week, Bennet and Hickenlooper joined their Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation to protect the right of individuals to cross state lines for reproductive health care. Bennet spoke on the Senate floor in support of this effort.

Bennet and U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) recently called on the Biden Administration to update the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect the privacy of patients who receive abortions from law enforcement agencies. Last month, Bennet and Hickenlooper joined their colleagues in urging the Department of Defense (DoD) to take immediate steps to support and protect servicemembers seeking abortion services following the Supreme Court’s dangerous and deeply harmful decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Bennet and Hickenlooper also joined their colleagues to push President Joe Biden to pursue “bold action” to protect the right to abortion. In 2017, when the Trump Administration tried to slash Title X, Bennet urged protection for the program’s funding to expand access to affordable health care for low-income Coloradans.