Affirm (AFHP)-provided family planning healthcare services in Arizona prevented 6,800 unintended pregnancies in 2014 leading to an overall savings of $59.7 million. Both locally and nationally, publically funded family planning programs have saved startling amounts of money, avoided thousands of unplanned births and abortions, and prevented thousands of cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
A report, led by Dr. Jennifer J. Frost, a Senior Research Associate at the Guttmacher Institute, provides significant results in the benefits of publicly supported family planning programs. Nationally, visits to these programs are estimated to have avoided:
- 2 million unintended pregnancies
- 1 million unplanned births
- 761,000 abortions
- 164,000 preterm or low-birth-weights
- 99,000 chlamydia infections
- 16,000 gonorrhea infections
- 410 HIV infections
- 3,680 cervical cancer cases
- 2,110 cervical cancer deaths
In comparison, Arizona’s contraceptive and related noncontraceptive services prevented:
- 2,320 abortions
- 490 chlamydia infections.
“We are very clear in our mission,” said AFHP CEO Brenda “Bré” Thomas. “We want to reduce unintended pregnancies, improve birth outcomes and ensure that every pregnancy is a healthy and intended pregnancy. At the same time, we believe strongly in empowering women around their healthcare.”
Every year the US spends billions of dollars on unintended pregnancies, as illustrated in the following map obtained from guttmacher.org.
Services provided at Title X-supported health centers in the U.S. accounted for more than half of the overall benefits, according to “Return on Investment: A Fuller Assessment of the Benefits and Cost Savings of the US Publicly Funding Family Planning Program.” On both the national and state level, family planning services resulted in significant government spending on preventing unintended pregnancy.
- Net savings of $13.6 billion Net savings of $119 million
- $7.09 for every public dollar spent $11.27 was saved for every dollar spent
- Net savings of $119 million
- $11.27 was saved for every dollar spent
“This analysis clearly points to the many benefits of public funded family planning services far beyond enabling women to prevent unintended pregnancies,” said Brenda “Bré” Thomas, CEO of the Affirm (AFHP), a Title-X agency that provides funding for health clinics statewide. “The report fully affirms the value of taxpayer’s investment in the most comprehensive terms ever reported. The positive impact of these benefits is undeniable.”
For the full report, visit www.guttmacher.org.
– Annie, Intern