At a time when almost half of all pregnancies in the United States — including the vast majority of teen pregnancies — are unintended, there is an urgent need to make contraceptive services more accessible and available. Widespread use of contraceptives can further reduce unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and the need for abortion — which remains a critically important health service that is too often out of reach for low-income women of reproductive age.
The cost of contraception can be significant and is a barrier to many women who want to access family planning services. The Ryan/DeLauro bill supports programs such as Title X and Medicaid, which provide essential family planning services and information to low-income women. It also supports targeted efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy among teens, including through comprehensive sex education programs that help equip young people to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
In supporting programs that provide maternity health care services to low-income pregnant women, and nutrition and child care services for new parents, this legislation begins to address some of the many challenges low-income families face. At the same time, we recognize that access to a full range of reproductive health services is the most effective way for women to plan their families.
We thank Representatives Ryan and DeLauro for making prevention a priority, and for their commitment to improving the health and well-being of women and families.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.