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Family Planning

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Family Planning

Family Planning Services (PPMB)

# of individuals receiving free or low-cost family planning services through VDH-sponsored programs

5,712Q1 2020

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Story Behind the Curve

Last Updated: May 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Author: Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health

 


The Title X Family Planning program was enacted in 1970 as Title X of the Public Health Service Act (Public Law 91-572 Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs). Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Nationally, Title X-supported clinics provide a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. 

In August 2019, the Vermont Department of Health relinquished Title X federal funding due to the new Federal Rule.  The rationale for this change is outlined here. State funds are currently being used to cover formally Title X funded services.

The overarching goal of Vermont's family planning program is to provide high quality clinical family planning and related preventive health services, education, and counseling to Vermonters who would otherwise not have access, with a special focus on low-income and rural populations. Specifically, Vermont's family planning program seeks to:

  • Reduce unintended pregnancies in Vermont
  • Improve access to a broad range of effective contraceptive methods
  • Provide access to emergency contraceptive services
  • Reduce sexually transmitted diseases
  • Promote healthy relationships, healthy sexual behaviors and strengthen community capacity to promote positive reproductive health

 

What Works

There is strong evidence attesting to the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of publicly funded family planning services, providing significant cost savings to taxpayers. In 2010, this investment resulted in net government savings of $13.6 billion, or $7.09 for every public dollar spent that would have been spent on Medicaid costs related to pregnancy care and delivery and to infants in their first year of life.  These calculations do not measure the broader health, social or economic benefits of enabling women to time or prepare for their pregnancies.

 

Action Plan
  • Continue to work with family planning service providers to ensure access to free or low cost services for low income Vermonters.
  • Continue to support the use of best practice approaches related to contraceptive options, with an emphasis on methods that are most effective, long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC).
  • Support the education and outreach efforts of family planning partners on related preventive health issues and services, preconception health counselling and reproductive life planning.
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