In the News

Two Women's Health Groups Criticize President's Budget

Friday, May 8, 2009
Government and Politics Watch

Officials from two women’s health and family planning groups have released statements expressing concern and disappointment over President Obama’s 2010 budget, released yesterday.

Officials from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health-- said in new releases that they were discouraged that the Obama administration did not seek to strike restrictions on government financing of abortions.

“We are disappointed that the budget did not remove restrictions on women’s ability to access the full range of reproductive heath-care services, said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president. “Placing onerous restrictions on women is not effective public policy.” She added that her group plans to encourage the president and Congress to remove the restrictions.

Officials at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health said Hispanic women make up almost 25 percent of women who are of reproductive age and who rely on Medicaid. Silvia Henriquez, the organization’s director said the decision to retain such restrictions, especially in a time of financial crisis for many people, “perpetuates a two-tier system in the U.S.: women with private health insurance or private funds can access abortion, but poor women cannot.”

Ms. Richards, of Planned Parenthood, said while such restrictions were disappointing, other requests in the budget were “a step in the right direction.” Among them: efforts to fight pregnancy among teenagers. Ms. Richards also said a $10-million increase in the Title X family planning program, bringing support for the program up to $317-million, while “modest” was good news, but that more needed to be done for the program so it could keep up with inflation and demand.