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Monday, November 11, 2013

Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program

Angela Napili
Information Research Specialist

The federal government provides grants for voluntary family planning services through the Family Planning Program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §§300 to 300a-6). Enacted in 1970, it is the only domestic federal program devoted solely to family planning and related preventive health services. In 2011, Title X-funded clinics served more than 5 million clients.

Title X is administered through the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Although the authorization of appropriations for Title X ended with FY1985, funding for the program has continued through appropriations bills for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (Labor- HHS-Education).

FY2013 funding for Title X was $278 million, 5% less than the FY2012 funding level of $294 million. The FY2013 appropriations law (P.L. 113-6) continued previous years’ requirements that Title X funds not be spent on abortions, that all pregnancy counseling be nondirective, and that funds not be spent on promoting or opposing any legislative proposal or candidate for public office. Grantees continued to be required to certify that they encourage “family participation” when minors seek family planning services and to certify that they counsel minors on how to resist attempted coercion into sexual activity. Appropriations law also clarified that family planning providers are not exempt from state notification and reporting laws on child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape, or incest. Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-46), signed October 17, 2013, provides temporary government-wide funding through January 15, 2014 (or until full-year funding is appropriated), under the same authority and conditions as in FY2013.

The law (42 U.S.C. §300a-6) prohibits the use of Title X funds in programs where abortion is a method of family planning. According to OPA, family planning projects that receive Title X funds are closely monitored to ensure that federal funds are used appropriately and that funds are not used for prohibited activities such as abortion. The prohibition on abortion does not apply to all the activities of a Title X grantee, but only to activities that are part of the Title X project. A grantee’s abortion activities must be “separate and distinct” from the Title X project activities.

Date of Report: October 31, 2013
Number of Pages: 19
Order Number: RL33644
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