From the Guttmacher Institute, a leading authority on reproductive health and research, comes the news that unintended pregnancies cost the United States $11 billion each year. And the group says that’s a conservative estimate. Its study says about two-thirds of unintended pregnancies are publicly funded. A similar study by the Brookings Institute finds the United States could save $5.6 billion each year by preventing those pregnancies.
The way to do that is to make birth control free and easy to access, but conservative, anti-choice legislators are doing the exact opposite. They are doing their best to take away any options a poor woman might have to advance her life: they’ve blocked her access to birth control; blocked her access to abortion; blocked her access to WIC funds; and blocked her access to education. They seem determined that poor women should stay poor. It’s sickening these people claim to have “family values” while passing laws that do nothing but burden low- and middle-income families. They’re cutting funding now that will raise costs later, but they should be increasing funding now to cut costs later.
They’re putting politics over women’s health and safety, and it’s time to let them know we won’t stand for it. You can contact Kathleen Sebelius, secretary for Health and Human Services, at the HHS website. Tell her that under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must be compelled to provide free birth control. Not only does it make fiscal sense, it makes healthier women and families.