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We can do better than an "F" in reproductive health

The Population Institute recently released its annual report card on reproductive health and rights, and Missouri got a big fat F.

Anyone who is surprised by that grade either hasn’t been paying attention or has been living under a rock for the last few years.

While the leadership in Jefferson City spent most of last year shoving their 72-hour anti-abortion bill into law, important reproductive health care policy that would actually reduce the number of abortions and improve the health of Missourians was left on the curb.

Missourians deserve better that another session full of legislative “solutions” in search of problems. The criteria used by the Population Institute doesn’t just provide a window into why Missouri got that serves as a pretty darn good to-do list of things to improve Missourians' reproductive health. 

This session, lawmakers should...

  • Improve our state's ability to evaluate the effectiveness of reproductive health policy through updates in data collection on rates of teen and unintended pregnancy.
  • Focus on prevention by passing legislation mandating comprehensive sexual health education in schools, and expanding women's access to emergency contraception.
  • Pass Medicaid expansion, and then dismantle any affordability hurdles in Medicaid eligibility rules on family planning and the state's funding of family planning services for low-income residents.
  • Protect and expand access, because a woman's private health care decisions are best left to a woman and her family.

There's no better time than the present, MOLeg.