SPRING FIELD – As women’s health care rights are under attack nationwide, Illinois will serve as a leader in expanding access to equitable and affordable family planning services for low-income communities with a $5.4 million grant secured through the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services.
“Women’s access to reproductive health care is under attack at the national level,” said Senate Speaker Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “It is more important than ever that we in Illinois reaffirm our commitment to these basic rights by investing in organizations that provide vital health services.”
The grant, along with $5.8 million in public funds allocated by Senate Democrats in FY23, means the Illinois Family Planning Program will provide approximately $11.2 million to help operate nearly 100 family planning clinics statewide. The news of the funding comes just weeks after a draft notice calling for Roe vs. Wade to reverse was leaked.
“Investments in reproductive health through services such as contraceptive management, abortions, cancer screenings, HIV testing and prevention, etc., mean investing in a force field surrounding women and those assigned at birth to protect their bodily autonomy and self-determination”, said Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Funding from this grant will go towards essential preventative services to support health equity, especially for our underinsured and uninsured residents, to keep them healthy and give them control over their bodies and their health.”
The grant was awarded to the Illinois Department of Public Health to support access to Title X services under the Illinois Family Planning Program that were heavily restricted under the previous federal administration, which imposed a “gag rule” that prevented family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.
“At a time when reproductive health is under threat, supporting routine health care and family planning services is essential,” said Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago). “Funding for the Illinois Family Planning Program affirms choice and access for vulnerable women statewide and sends a clear message that the State of Illinois protects and promotes a holistic approach to wellness women.
Title X provides a holistic portfolio of essential preventative 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 underinsured Illinois residents and families each year.
“As there is a national war on women’s rights, Illinois is stepping up and saying, ‘Not in our state'” said Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “We empower women in every corner of Illinois – regardless of zip code – to take control of their bodies by expanding efforts for accessible and equitable reproductive health care.”