Family Planning And Health Policy Essay

Family Planning And Health Policy Essay

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Family Planning is one of the ten great public health achievements in the 20th Century in United States. Family planning health policy gained prominence as one of the nation’s highly controversial topics since 1973 after the Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade case legalized abortions in United States. Yet 42 years later, we still see policies concerning women’s reproductive health making headlines every week. The New York Times article “Judge Allows Moral, Not Just Religious, Contraception Exemptions” on 31st August, 2015 bears testimony to the obstacles women today still face while seeking contraceptive services. The pro-life group March for Life won the case after a federal judge’s ruling allowed employers to be exempt from providing insurance coverage to employees for contraceptive services based on employer’s moral beliefs.3 Although The Affordable Care Act(ACA) passed in 2010 contained exemptions to the contraception mandate based on religious beliefs, this was the first case that allowed it on moral philosophy.3 Unintended pregnancies can be associated with negative economic and health consequences and family planning protects and empowers women by enabling them to design their future lives. Depriving women of their choice and access to reproductive services could result in reversal of the progress achieved in the last century.
About 37 million women out of the 67 million women in childbearing age (13-44 years) in United States required contraception in 2013. About 99% of sexually active women in the reproductive age group have used a contraceptive at least once in their lifetime.6 Hence, a significantly high propo...

... middle of paper ... of high quality family health services within an adequate provider network. This presents a unique challenge in face of rising health care spending in US. More than 3 million pregnancies each year in U.S. are unintended and nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended.5 The number of women filling prescription for oral contraceptives without cost sharing increased from 1.2 million in 2012 to 5.1 million in 2013. This statistic itself speaks for the pro-choice stance of millions of US women. Pro-life argument against contraceptive use as it amounts to abortion may not not entirely be scientifically sound. With an existing gender gap of 21% where women earn only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, women’s educational and economic progress to social and financial security cannot be impeded by taking away their right to make personal medical decisions.

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