Doubling the current $283 million funding level for the federal Title X family planning program could help low-income women prevent an estimated 244,000 unintended pregnancies annually, according to a new Guttmacher Institute analysis. By averting an estimated 116,000 unplanned births, most of which would otherwise be paid for by the Medicaid program, doubling Title X funding could also result in yearly net government savings of almost $800 million—a return of about $3.80 in savings for every $1 increase in Title X funding. The increase could also prevent an estimated 98,000 abortions.
“The new analysis adds to the already strong evidence that investing in publicly funded contraceptive services can lead to significant reductions in the numbers of unplanned pregnancies, abortions and unplanned births, while saving millions in public dollars,” says Rachel Benson Gold, the Guttmacher Institute’s director of policy analysis and one of the report’s authors. “It’s a common-sense approach that yields huge benefits for women individually, as well as for society overall, especially when combined with other policy steps, such as expanding access to contraceptives through Medicaid.”