New York City Publicly funded family planning prevents nearly 2 million unintended pregnancies and more than 800,000 abortions in the United States each year, saving billions of dollars, according to new research intended to counter conservative objections to expanding the program.
The data is in a report being released today by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health think tank whose research is generally respected even by experts and activists who don’t share its advocacy of abortion rights.
Report co-author Rachel Benson Gold called the family planning program “smart government at its best,” asserting that every dollar spent on it saves taxpayers $4 in costs associated with unintended births to mothers eligible for Medicaid-funded natal care.
Despite such arguments, federal funding for family planning is a divisive issue.
Last month, under withering Republican criticism, House Democrats abandoned an attempt to include an expansion of family planning services for the poor in the economic stimulus bill.