Executive Director, Pam Kitagawa, releases the following statement about the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health Services and Education Subcommittee’s fiscal year 2016 spending bill.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
San Jose, CA – On June 23rd, the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health Services and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee’s passed its version of the fiscal year 2016 spending bill. This bill drastically cuts or eliminates critical programs proven to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy, reduce abortion and save tax dollars. This comes immediately after the House subcommittee’s bill that eliminated TPPP and Title X entirely. These actions put both programs in great jeopardy. Pam Kitagawa, Executive Director at teenNow California has released the following statement:
“This is an incredibly frustrating, disappointing and short sighted decision from the House and Senate leadership. Teen birth rates in California, and indeed in the whole country, are at historic lows. To strip away the infrastructure that contributed greatly to achieving these drops would be disastrous. Losing Title X funding would devastate the public health care services that millions of teen and adults have come to depend on for reproductive health services, birth control, pregnancy testing and obstetrical care, as well as cancer screening. School-based health centers may also be forced to close their doors. Teen pregnancy prevention programs as well as teen parenting programs will likely be forced to do the same.
At a time when so much progress has been made on reducing teen pregnancy in California and the nation – an issue that is directly connected to poverty, health graduation rates, workforce competitiveness and costs to taxpayers – this draft funding full would undo decades of work in an instant and devastate program in our state that serve vulnerable population and high-risk communities. We, in California, should understand the need to continue to fund research proven programs that help young people graduate, become competitive in the workforce, escape poverty and avoid become a parent as teenagers. We strongly urge our California delegation to stand up and do what’s right and restore funding to these critical program.”
Board President, Jennifer Barber, MPH, also stated:
We need to stop funding cuts to evidence-based programs that work. Eliminating Title X and TPP programs would be devastating for families and communities nationwide, as these two critical programs work to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy, reduce abortion, and save tax dollars. I’m discouraged that time and time again, Congress funds “band-aids” used to address serious population and public health problems. As soon as programs show evidence of success, funding priorities shift to the next big public health issue, assuming we solved this or that problem, continually stripping away the very backbone and support that was making the difference. It is critical that we continue to weigh-in with our House or Senate Appropriations Committee members and ask that they stop eliminating funding for evidence-based programs. We need to speak loudly if we want these programs to exist next year. Please take a moment to urge them to fully fund the research-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) at $101 million and Title X at $286 million for FY 2016.
Let your voice be heard. Here is what we Californian’s can do.
Call your Senator and Congressperson and let them know your thoughts and opinion.
Write an op-ed or letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Let your community know.
Be an advocate for the well-being of teens throughout the state.
If you do not know who your member of Congress is, click here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/