Governor Pritzker Announces Record-Setting $11.2 Million in Funding to Support Family Planning Services Throughout Illinois
CHICAGO — Governor Pritzker today announced that the State of Illinois has received $5.4 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that will support and expand access to equitable and affordable family planning services for low-income populations across Illinois. This federal grant, along with $5.8 million in state general revenue funds, means the Illinois Family Planning Program is providing approximately $11.2 million in funding in state Fiscal Year 2023 to 29 delegate agencies that operate 98 family planning clinics throughout the state.
The new HHS grant to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will support access to Title X services under the Illinois Family Planning Program that were sharply restricted under the previous federal administration, which imposed a "gag rule" that blocked family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.
"Now that the Biden administration has reversed Trump's gag rule, I am proud to announce we have rejoined the federal Title X program and we're putting record funding toward our Illinois Family Planning Program," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Let this record-breaking investment remind women that the state of Illinois trusts you to make your own choices. To choose what contraceptives are right for you. To choose whether you want to be a parent or not. And we will make sure that—on top of protecting your right to choose—you get the care that you deserve."
Title X provides a holistic portfolio of critical preventive health services, including HIV prevention and testing, breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment, and reproductive health care for thousands of low-income, uninsured and under-insured Illinois residents and families each year. The news of the federal funding comes amidst Governor Pritzker's call for federal lawmakers to protect women's rights with Roe v. Wade under threat and his continued condemnation of the Supreme Court's upcoming decision to limit abortions across the country.
Governor Pritzker announced in July 2019 that the State of Illinois would forgo federal Title X funding in response to the rule imposed by the Trump Administration that banned federal funding for contraceptives for low-income people, unless grant recipients pledged not to counsel on abortion options or refer to abortion services.
"Countless vulnerable people lost a lifeline when Title X funding was lost due to the Trump administration's gag rule, and the restoration of that funding is now more important than ever as our constitutional right to bodily autonomy is under attack," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "This $11.2 in critical funding is a step forward in ensuring people receive the reproductive care they need, and it will build on our commitment of a safe, welcoming Illinois for all."
"We are grateful to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Biden Administration for supporting our efforts to ensure that low-income people and those who are under-insured have access to the full range of high-quality and affordable family planning services they need," said Shannon Lightner, IDPH Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director of the Office of Women's Health and Family Services. "We know that these services are critically important to the health, safety, and wellbeing of thousands of women, individuals and families across Illinois.
Members of the General Assembly, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, ICAN!, and Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative joined Governor Pritzker in hailing the strengthening of the Illinois Family Planning Program.
"It is evident reproductive health care is under assault in this country," said House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-Hillside). "Now, more than ever, is the time to support our family planning clinics in Illinois as we remain a safe haven for those seeking necessary health care from surrounding states. The restoration of these Title X funds continues our commitment to providing affordable, quality health care and family planning services for those who need it most."
"Women's access to reproductive health care is under attack at the national level," said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). "It is more important now than ever that we in Illinois reaffirm our commitment to these fundamental rights by investing in the organizations that provide vital health services."
"When Planned Parenthood of Illinois was forced to withdraw from Title X in 2019, it was a significant blow to organization, and more critically, to all of the people who rely on us for essential sexual and reproductive health care," said Jennifer Welch, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. "We are deeply grateful to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health for recognizing the need for our essential health care and awarding us this funding. With this grant, PPIL will continue providing essential, lifesaving care to all who need it."
"Especially today, I am very glad that Illinois is strengthening its commitment to providing comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services across the State," said House Majority Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago).
"During a time when reproductive health is under attack, it is critical to support routine health care and family planning services," said Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago). "Funding the Illinois Family Planning Program upholds choice and access for vulnerable women across the state and sends a clear message that the State of Illinois protects and promotes a comprehensive approach to women's wellness."
"Investments in reproductive health through services like contraception management, abortions, cancer screenings, HIV testing and prevention and more means investing in a forcefield surrounding women and individuals assigned female at birth to protect their bodily autonomy and self-determination," said Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). "The funding from this grant will go toward critical preventative services to support health equity, especially for our under or uninsured residents to keep them healthy and give them control over their bodies and health."
"As we fight back against the attacks on reproductive rights at the federal level, I am proud that Illinois continues to lead by increasing investments into the reproductive healthcare and family planning services our communities need," said Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago). "We are extending a critical lifeline for low-income families across our state and sending a clear message to all Illinoisans that protecting and investing in access to reproductive health will continue to be our priority."
"While there is a nationwide war on women's rights, Illinois is stepping up and saying, ‘Not in our state,'" said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). "We are empowering women in all corners of Illinois - regardless of ZIP code - to take control of their bodies by expanding efforts to accessible and equitable reproductive health care."
"As we have seen with the troubling news out of the U.S. Supreme Court this week, women's reproductive rights are under siege across America. Yet, I am encouraged because of our work in Illinois to provide the necessary protections and healthcare to ensure women here can do what's best for themselves and their families," said Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin). "This new infusion of $5.4 million in federal funding will help provide vital family planning services to those who need it most, and further strengthen our commitment to providing women the care they need, when they need it."
"Family planning services are critical, especially now with the assaults on reproductive health care nationwide," said Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). "Illinois will continue to invest in the full range of reproductive services and support providers doing this essential work."