Shaheen Urges Biden Administration to Bolster Federal Assistance for NH Family Planning Clinics
Shaheen Letter Comes on the Heels of State Republicans’ All-Out Assault on Women’s Health in Biennial Budget Legislation
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the Biden administration to dedicate HHS resources to help support New Hampshire family planning clinics due to a gap in grant funding. Shaheen’s letter comes on the heels of New Hampshire Republicans forcing dangerous anti-abortion and anti-family planning provisions into biennial funding legislation that cleared the State Legislature on Thursday.
In her letter, Shaheen explained that federal rulemaking to reverse the Trump administration’s “Title X Gag Rule” and restore eligibility for seven of the nine NH family planning providers is unlikely to be resolved before late fall or early winter. This, combined with the State Legislature’s budget that slashes state-level funding for family planning providers and imposes other barriers to prevent providers from accessing funds, has created a funding gap. This shortfall threatens access to health care for more than 16,000 women throughout New Hampshire.
In her call to Becerra, Shaheen requested assistance from Secretary Becerra to identify other sources of financial support for Granite State family planning providers to bridge this funding gap.
The Senator wrote, “To help overcome this funding gap and protect access to care for Granite Staters, I strongly urge you to work with me and the affected providers in my state to help find an interim funding solution. Such approaches could include awards of supplemental Title X funding on an expedited basis immediately upon rescission of the gag rule, or ensuring that the affected centers are eligible for other forms of financial support from other HHS programs outside of the Title X family planning program. I stand ready to work with you in identifying potential options and sources for this vital interim funding.”
Shaheen’s letter can be read in full here.
Earlier today, Shaheen hosted a virtual round table with family planning providers to discuss the threats to women’s reproductive rights in response to the ongoing attacks at the state and federal level to strip away women’s reproductive health care services.
Senator Shaheen is an unrelenting advocate for women’s reproductive rights. Senator Shaheen has fought for years to increase coverage of women’s preventative care, including through her legislation to reduce the cost of contraception for servicewomen and dependents in military families. Shaheen leads efforts in Congress to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, which bans federal funds for foreign non-governmental organizations that use non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services or provide information about abortion as part of comprehensive family planning services. She also supported efforts in Congress in opposition to the Title X Gag Rule. Earlier this month, Shaheen introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would guarantee a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.