Population Institute Gives US a Grade of C- in Reproductive Health and Rights
The Population Institute released its 2013 report card on reproductive health and rights in the US earlier this month, giving the nation an overall grade of "C-" for the second year in a row.
"The State of Reproductive Health and Rights: 50-State Report Card" gave thirteen states a failing grade, including Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas, among others. Only seventeen states received a "B-" or above, with four states earning an "A": Maryland, Oregon, Washington, and California. Oregon received the highest overall score. The grades were based on measures of effectiveness, prevention, affordability, and clinic access within each state. Possible changes or legislation were also taken into account.
The report discussed several national victories in the area of reproductive rights and health, and listed the "HHS ruling that Plan B One Step be made available over the counter without an age restriction, the Affordable Care Act giving women access to family planning services without a co-pay requirement, and expanded Medicaid eligibility ensuring that millions more women would be eligible to access reproductive health services." However, twenty-five states still refuse to expand Medicaid eligibility, blocking millions of women from receiving increased access to services. Additionally, the Guttmacher Institute reports there have been more legislative attacks on reproductive rights in the past three years than in the entire previous decade, with attacks continuing. "Reproductive health advocates must remain ever vigilant," said Robert Walker, president of The Population Institute.
Media Resources: The Population Institute January 2014; Feminist Newswire 12/13/13, 1/7/14