FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women’s Leader Praises Legislation that Aims to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies, Support Pregnant Women
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 23, 2009 — “We commend Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) for their work to craft legislation to improve access to reproductive health services and information for women and families. The Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act would fund programs that help women and teens avoid unintended pregnancies, and that help pregnant women and new parents get the health care and support services they need to raise healthy children.
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 non-profit, non-partisan 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.