Delaware Public Media

Delaware family planning providers worry about new Trump funding priorities

Mar 10, 2018

Delaware family planning providers hope to get the same amount of federal funding as in previous years.

But the Trump administration has new priorities for reproductive health services.

Delaware’s Department of Public Health applies for federal family planning funding and then distributes it to providers. The money helps mostly low-income women across the state with reproductive health services.

But Ruth Lytle-Barnaby of Planned Parenthood Delaware said she’s concerned about the Trump administration’s new priorities. The new application focuses on natural family planning - which tracks female ovulation cycles.

“We still are not clear yet about the new regulations that are coming out and what that means for us being able to provide comprehensive reproductive care,” she said.

Leah Woodall with the Public Health department said it’s applying for stopgap funding and next year’s money. While she notes the new focus on natural family planning - or avoiding pregnancy without using birth control - is a significant change, she said it won't alter how they apply for the grant.

“We’re not going to change what we know is the most important emphasis and that’s making sure that women can set their personal goals, choose when and if they decide to get pregnant and increase access to all methods of contraception,” she said.

The administration is also encouraging teens to abstain from sexual activity until marriage instead of using contraception to reduce risky behavior.

Federal funding does not pay for abortion services. But it does help with cancer screenings, birth control and wellness exams.

Delaware will run out of federal family planning money at the end of the month unless the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services extends its grant funding starting April 1st.