Reproductive Rights

US Receives “C” Grade On Reproductive Rights

A study released by the Population Institute, a nonprofit that promotes access to family planning services and education, gave the United States an overall “C” grade in reproductive health. The C is a marginal improvement to the overall “C-minus” grade the US received in 2012 and 2013.

via Walt Jabsco
via Walt Jabsco

While the US overall grade is a C, 15 states failed outright. Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming all failed, with Texas earning an “F-minus” due to its incredibly high teen pregnancy rates, inadequate sex education, refusal to fund family planning efforts, rejection of Medicaid expansion, commitment to making abortion as hard as possible to get, and very high rate of unintended pregnancies.

“Increasingly, access to reproductive health is dependent on which state you live in,” Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation told Feminist Newswire. “And, it’s disgraceful that in the 21st century the second largest state in the United States, Texas, is being given an ‘F-minus’ grade for reproductive healthcare.”

The broad focus of the study was on four main indicators: effectiveness, prevention, affordability, and access. These indicators were then used to analyze and grade each state based on nine criteria, each with a point value of 5, 10, or 15 points. Categories such as unintended or teen pregnancy, and comprehensive sex education could gain a state up to 15 points, whereas access to emergency contraception in the emergency room could only gain a state up to 5 points. States could earn up to 100 points, which was then converted to a letter grade.

Only four states earned an “A” or “A-plus”: New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Media Resources: Population Institute, 1/12/15; Feminist Newswire, 1/24/14



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