In Response to NH Executive Council Vote to Defund Granite State Family Planning Organizations, NH Delegation Urges Biden Admin to Swiftly Award Supplemental Assistance Directly to Impacted Providers

September 17, 2021

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a letter with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) today to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra calling on HHS to award supplemental grants directly to the New Hampshire family planning providers that were recently defunded by the New Hampshire Executive Council and are not receiving Title X program funds.

On Wednesday, the delegation slammed the Executive Council after it voted to terminate multiple contracts for family planning organizations, which effectively defunds critical services for women’s health providers across New Hampshire, like Planned Parenthood.

Today, the delegation wrote, “As a result of the Executive Council’s actions, multiple family planning providers are facing budgetary shortfalls that will impact the availability of health care to thousands of Granite Staters, mainly women, who rely on family planning providers for vital health care including breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, contraception and other reproductive health services. Low-income and rural women will be disproportionately impacted by the Executive Council’s reckless decision. We are deeply concerned with the gap in access to health care that will be inevitable without immediate federal support.”

They continued, “In light of the emergent situation in New Hampshire, we request that HHS explore all available means to provide immediate support to the impacted family planning providers in our state. We appreciate HHS’s efforts to rescind the harmful Title X Gag Rule and restore federal funding to the family planning providers, in New Hampshire and across the country. However, New Hampshire’s family planning providers are in need of immediate assistance. Therefore, we ask that supplemental funds be made available expeditiously and directly to providers to overcome the funding gap they are facing.”

The letter can be read in full here.

The Executive Council’s Wednesday vote is particularly egregious as it follows years of the Trump administration’s attacks on women’s reproductive health, most notably, President Trump’s implementation of the “Title X Gag Rule,” which has shut out the majority of New Hampshire family planning providers from receiving federal grants. In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to provide support to New Hampshire family planning providers who will lose state funding under the New Hampshire budget bill. This support is critically needed to help these providers bridge the gap in funding until the Biden administration can complete its action to reverse the Trump administration’s rule.