FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2009
Late Monday, August 31st and early Tuesday, September 2nd , the House and Senate respectively passed a budget which included funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs, the fetal & infant mortality review, and family planning services that the Governor's budget had proposed to eliminate completely.
The funding for teen pregnancy prevention block grants supports programs around the state that work directly with youth to reduce unintended teen pregnancy. The Governor's proposed elimination of this funding and essentially these programs was extremely short sighted. The budget that was passed last night allocated over $2 million to teen pregnancy prevention programs--a long term investment that will benefit the state.
In addition to teen pregnancy prevention programs, the budget that passed both houses also funded the state's Fetal & Infant Mortality Review. Fetal & infant mortality review is an important public health strategy for identifying risk factors for perinatal morbidity and mortality and for obtaining information that can be used to design community interventions to improve the health of women and infants.
The overall goal of the Fetal & Infant Mortality Review is to enhance the health and well-being of women, infants and families by improving the community resources and service delivery systems. The Governor's proposed elimination of this program would have been a huge disservice to our state, in particular, our state's racial and ethnic minorities who experience greater numbers of fetal and infant death.
Lastly, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is pleased that the state budget included funding of the Family Planning Waiver, which will allow CT to provide family planning services to women at 185% of the Federal Poverty Level who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid. Currently, in order to be eligible for medicaid you must already have children or be expecting a child. The Family Planning Waiver allows low-income women of child bearing age to receive preventative reproductive health care services.
When states put money toward a Family Planning Waiver, they receive a 90% federal Medicaid match—when the state’s normal federal medicaid match is 50%. So not only will the state save money in the long term, they will also see a higher return from the Federal Government for offering family planning services to low income women.
The state budget became law in September without the Governor’s Signature.