DLI Report on the Office of Population Affairs

Why do We Still Have a Federal Office of Population Affairs?


The Office of Population Affairs was created in 1970 to administrate Title X, which was established “to provide access to contraceptive services, supplies, and information to all who want and need them.”1 Specifically, Title X funding is supposed “to assist individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children through the provision of voluntary, confidential and low-cost education, counseling, and related comprehensive medical services to eligible clients.”

President Richard Nixon, creator of Title X, declared in 1969 that providing family planning services for low-income Americans should be a “national goal.”3 Reasonable people can disagree about the proper role of the federal government in assisting individuals in “determining the number and spacing of their children,” but for nearly five decades, billions of dollars of Title X funding have been allocated to that purpose. As the fiftieth anniversary of Title X approaches, an examination of what these funds have accomplished and whether they should be continued is long overdue.


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