Democrats Support Bill to Help Low-Income Families with Family Planning through Medicaid Expansion

Media Statement

 For Immediate Release: January 30, 2018

Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 |

Democrats Support Bill to Help Low-Income Families with Family Planning through Medicaid Expansion

Salt Lake City - Today the House passed HB12, Family Planning Services Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Ray Ward. This bill would create a program to allow the use of Medicaid funds for family planning services for low-income Utah women. The legislation would allow the state to significantly reduce the costs of expensive and long-acting birth control devices, such as IUDs (intrauterine devices), for low-income women and families.  

“We support this bill because it could help as many as 11,000 low-income families in Utah to have more control over when they choose to have children,” says Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck. “Birth control is so expensive, and many low-income Utah women simply cannot afford it.”

Rep. Sandra Hollins stated, “This legislation would save Utah taxpayers a lot of money in the long-term by preventing unwanted pregnancies and abortions. If we can help low-income families avoid unwanted pregnancies through educational programs and other resources, we are reducing the financial toll placed on them. We can also reduce the stress on our state’s social services which we all pay for.” 

Rep. Brian King said, “There is no excuse anymore for us to not do everything we can to assist our most vulnerable families with managing the serious responsibilities that come with parenthood. Taking this action would allow many struggling families to finish school, or keep working until they are ready to start or expand a family.  This is common sense, and something all of us should support.”  

Other states that have passed similar legislation have shown they can save a significant amount of money.  Utah remains one of seven states that have not expanded Medicaid to cover family planning services.

HB12 now moves to the Senate for consideration.