Increased Access to Family Planning Services
State and federally funded family planning programs provide affordable reproductive health services to more than 170,000 Michigan residents every year. These programs help people plan their families, avoid unintended pregnancies, prevent disease, and make responsible, informed decisions about their sexual health. Government reimbursements to clinics that provide publicly funded family planning services are far below the actual cost of providing care. Itís vitally important that elected officials support increased funding for prevention programs.
- Every $1 spent on publicly provided family planning services in Michigan saves taxpayers $6.37 on social services in the first year alone.
- Publicly funded programs allow low-income women to choose highly effective birth control methods.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Comprehensive sexuality education is responsible, age-appropriate, and medically accurate instruction that emphasizes the benefits of abstinence, while also teaching about contraception, disease prevention, and a variety of other topics, such as decision making, relationships, communication, critical thinking, and self-esteem. Research shows that teens who receive education that includes discussion of contraception are more likely than those who receive abstinence-only messages to delay sexual activity, to use contraceptives when they do become sexually active, and to have fewer partners.
- 34 percent of girls in the U.S. get pregnant at least once by the age of 20.
- The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is twice that in Canada, England, France and Sweden, and ten times that in the Netherlands. European countries provide young people with greater access to contraception and information.
Many employer-based insurance policies still do not provide equitable coverage for all prescription contraceptives ó a big reason why women of childbearing age pay 68 percent more than men in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Contraception helps women plan the timing and spacing of their children leading to healthier outcomes for mother and child.
- An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruling and several key court cases have found that an employerís exclusion of contraceptives from a plan that covers other prescriptions is sex discrimination.
- It would cost an employer less than $2 a month per employee to provide coverage. Not providing coverage would cost 15-17 percent more than providing it.
Ensuring Access To and Education About Emergency Contraception
Emergency contraception is birth control that prevents pregnancy in case of unprotected sex. When taken within 120 hours, it can reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy by as much as 95 percent. The sooner itís taken, the more effective it is.
Nine out of ten women of reproductive age in the United States donít know about EC or its benefits, and only one in five doctors regularly discuss it with their patients.
- EC could prevent an estimated 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions in the U.S. every year.
- Millions of women around the world have used EC safely and effectively.