Pawlenty’s Budget Slashes Family Planning Funds

The budget proposed Tuesday by Gov. Tim Pawlenty would cut $2 million from the Family Planning Special Projects (FPSP), a grant program that funds health departments, nonprofits and tribal governments that provide family planning services to low-income Minnesotans. The cut amounts to a 20 percent reduction.

“All women, regardless of economic status, must have the same opportunity to access health care, plan and space healthy pregnancies,” said Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “Strong family planning is good health care policy, good public policy and makes good sense from both a fiscal and a social perspective.”

“As more and more Minnesota families lose jobs and insurance coverage, the governor should not stand between some of the most economically challenged women in the state and the health care they need to build stronger futures,” she said.

Family planning grants total $4.2 million a year.

Pawlenty says the programs can be cut because Minnesota has qualified for a Medicaid family planning program. “With the anticipated growth in persons receiving services through [Medicaid’s] Family Planning Waiver, the reduction of Family Planning Special Project grant funds is not anticipated to have an impact on unintended pregnancies.”

But the Medicaid program would place greater restrictions on who could access subsidized family planning services and which agencies would be able to serve at-risk clients.