Coalition urges FY23 appropriations for sexual and reproductive health in wake of Dobbs

November 2022

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

November 28, 2022 

The Honorable Chuck Schumer 
Majority Leader, U.S. Senate 
S-220, The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20510 

The Honorable Patrick Leahy 
Chairman, Senate Appropriations 
S-128, The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20510 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi 
Speaker of the House 
H-232, The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20515 

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro 
Chairwoman, House Appropriations 
H-307, The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Leahy, and Chairwoman DeLauro: 

We remain in an unprecedented crisis following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the United States, a holding that is out-of-step with the vast majority of Americans. The ruling left millions of people without access to abortion care and will continue to wreak havoc on individuals and families across the country in the months and years to come. Additionally, the decision has and will continue to have a ripple effect around the world as anti-rights actors are emboldened, abortion stigma increases, and countries that have relied on U.S. law to expand and protect access to abortion face new challenges. We firmly believe that all people, no matter where they live, should be able to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. We are in a crisis and need leaders in all parts of government to do everything that they can to meet this moment. 

In the midst of this crisis, the public has made clear that reproductive autonomy is non-negotiable and that the government must act to support that core value. The fiscal year 2023 (FY23) appropriations bills passed by the House Appropriations Committee and proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee included historic advancements in ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and around the world. The critical commitments below are initial ways to begin to achieve this vision in the final FY23 appropriations package. 

In the midst of this crisis, the public has made clear that reproductive autonomy is non-negotiable and that the government must act to support that core value.

Increase Funding for International Family Planning 

International family planning and reproductive health programs are central to achieving a number of U.S. global health goals, including reducing rates of unintended pregnancy, maternal, infant, and child mortality, and mother-to-child HIV transmission. U.S. bilateral investments in international family planning are extended by the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which works in more than 150 countries 

worldwide, including many where USAID does not operate programs. In addition to core programs to support maternal and reproductive health care and to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, UNFPA is essential to delivering care in crisis settings, including in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela. UNFPA has been uniquely targeted for funding cuts; after a high-water funding level of $55.5M in FY2010, funding to this critical multilateral partner has eroded or been eliminated completely in the last 12 years. After more than a decade of flat or declining funding for these programs, it is essential that international family planning programs receive, at a minimum, the $830 million (including at least $70 million for UNFPA) as reflected in the FY23 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee. 

Increase Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program 

Title X is the nation’s only dedicated federal family planning program, supporting a diverse group of providers across the country that offer crucial family planning and sexual health care. The network has received funding cuts or flat funding for more than a decade, and it suffered historic losses in 2019 and 2020 among patients and providers, due in large part to the Trump administration’s 2019 program rule and COVID-19. In addition, new funding must occur in FY23 to restore funding to dozens of communities across the country whose grant applications were approved and unfunded by the Office of Population Affairs in March 2022 due to an insufficient appropriation. Without a significant increase in funding, those health centers will be forced to leave the program and recovery for entities with current grants will remain severely overstretched, especially as family planning providers face additional challenges due to the abortion access crisis. The Title X Program must receive, at a minimum, the $512 million proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee for FY23. 

Increase Funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program 

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program helps to ensure more young people receive the high-quality evidence-based sexual health education and information they need in safe and supportive environments. The high-quality programs funded by TPP have contributed to reductions in behaviors that put young people at increased risk for unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs. Current funding levels for the TPP Program leave many young people and communities without the critical sexual health information and education they need. Redirecting federal funding from the ineffective and harmful Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Program to the TPP Program will equip more young people with the sexual health information and education needed to achieve their goals. It is also consistent with the Biden administration’s policies to make evidence-

based, equity-oriented decisions guided by the best available science and data.1,2 We urge you to include $130 million for the TPP Program and no funding for the discretionary SRA program—as the bills passed by the House Appropriations Committee and proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee did. 

1 The White House. Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking (Jan. 27, 2021).

2 The White House. Exec. Order No. 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Throughout the Federal Government (Jan. 20, 2021).

Oppose Harmful Poison Pill Abortion Riders 

As part of our efforts to protect abortion access at home and abroad, we must eliminate poison pill riders that deny abortion care, permanently ensure access to comprehensive information and services, and oppose any new riders that would harm access to essential reproductive health care. For years, harmful abortion restrictions including the Hyde, Weldon, and Helms Amendments and the Global Gag Rule have blocked the advancement of economic, racial, and gender equity both in the U.S. and globally. It is imperative in this crisis to oppose any new riders or expansions of existing riders that would further restrict people’s access to abortion or reproductive health care, especially as anti-abortion lawmakers continue their attacks on essential health care. 

We look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve these and other bold wins our constituencies need and deserve. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Weiss, Director, Policy & Communications at the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (——@nfprha.org) and Rebecca Dennis, Associate Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy at PAI (——@pai.org). 

Sincerely, 

Abortion Access Front
Advocates for Youth
AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families
Alianza Americas
All* Above All Action Fund
American Academy of HIV Medicine
American Atheists
American Humanist Association
American Jewish World Service
American Medical Women’s Association
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health
Australasian Sexual and Reproductive Health Alliance
Better World Campaign
Big Cities Health Coalition
Catholics for Choice
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Reproductive Rights
Cobalt
Council for Global Equality
EngenderHealth
Equimundo
Every Mother Counts
Fòs Feminista
Friends of the Earth United States
Funders Concerned About AIDS
Global Fund for Women
Global Health Council
Global Justice Center
Global Justice Institute
Guttmacher Institute
Gynuity Health Project
Healthy Teen Network
Heartland Alliance International
Hispanic Federation
Human Rights Campaign
If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
IKAR
International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination
International Center for Research on Women
International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women
Ipas
IPPF
Jewish Women International
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom
Medical Students for Choice
MPact Global Action
MSI Reproductive Choices
MSI United States
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NASTAD
National Abortion Federation
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
National Birth Equity Collaborative
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Council of Jewish Women
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National Harm Reduction Coalition
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
National Working Positive Coalition
North American Men Engage Network (NAMEN)
North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health
PAI
Pathfinder International
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Connection Action Fund
Population Institute
Population Services International
Power to Decide
Pro-Choice North Carolina
Provide
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Reproaction
Reproductive Health Access Project
Rhia Ventures
She’s the First
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change
SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Tewa Women United
The Womxn Project
Thrive Alabama
Treatment Action Group (TAG)
United Nations Association of the USA
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
We Testify
White Ribbon Alliance
Win Without War
Women with a Vision
Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
Women’s Refugee Commission
Woodhull Freedom Foundation