Here's how much money the House GOP wants to spend to make sure low-income women can't get birth control

Spoiler: It's a lot of money!

By Katie McDonough
June 16, 2015 10:00PM (UTC)
main article image
(AP/Carolyn Kaster/J. Scott Applewhite/Photo montage by Salon)

The House Appropriations Committee just released a Labor, Health and Human Services funding proposal that guts the family planning program known as Title X. This is a terrible idea that will cause real harm to low-income people who are able to access healthcare through the program, as I reported earlier today.

In that piece, I pointed to a 2006 report from the Guttmacher Institute that found that for every dollar invested in Title X, $3.80 was saved in related Medicaid expenses. A 2014 report with an updated data set from 2010 found that every dollar invested in family planning, including Title X, saved around $7.09 in public expenditures.


At current funding levels, how much money might taxpayers have to eat so that House Republicans can deny low-income people cancer screenings and birth control? I mean, I'm no data journalist, but I do have a calculator.

It might work a little something like this:

Last year, Title X was funded at $286,500,000.


$286,500,000 x $7.09 = $2,031,285,000

According to the Guttmacher data, the House appropriations proposal -- which claims to reduce discretionary spending by $4 billion -- could cost taxpayers an additional $2 billion dollars in Medicaid expenses related to the unintended pregnancies and births that could have otherwise been prevented by affordable access to contraception and family planning counseling.

Which seems, uh, you know, incredibly dumb.


UPDATE: This piece has been edited to include an updated figure of $7.09 in savings for every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning. A 2014 Guttmacher report found that every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning, including Title X, saved around $7.09 in public expenditures.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

MORE FROM Katie McDonoughFOLLOW kmcdonovgh

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Birth Control Contraception Family Planning Fiscal Conservatives Geniuses Gop Math Geniuses Title X