cannot ignore the law as they pursue their agenda to stop women from getting the care they need.”
Before the rule goes into effect, it was subjected to a public comment period, during which 92,458 people weighed in before October 7, when comments closed. Public input will influence the Department of Health and Human Services’ final decision on the rule.
Many Republican-led states have passed legislation that creates a tiered system by which favored institutions, such as county health facilities, receive Title X funding on a prioritized basis, with Planned Parenthood receiving the lowest priority ranking. The new rule would ensure that all low-income citizens, regardless of the party in power in their state, would have access to reproductive health services.
GOP Fans of Planned Parenthood
Not surprisingly, Republicans have responded with outrage — but not all of them. A number of conservative politicians quietly acknowledge the role the health care provider plays in reducing poverty and improving public health — and in reducing the social services bill to taxpayers. Every grant dollar spent on family planning services results in $7.09 saved in Medicare costs. And that is just the beginning of the costs associated with unplanned pregnancy.
A study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that a third of girls who drop out of high school cite pregnancy or early parenthood as a key reason, and said only 40 percent of teen moms finish high school. The study further notes that young women with unplanned pregnancies were more likely to have inadequate prenatal care; more likely to smoke and drink while pregnant; and more likely to have premature or low birth-rate babies, all of which are associated with costly and often devastating physical and mental health conditions, whose costs later impact other parts of society. Unplanned pregnancy is associated with increased rates of crime and welfare participation and reduced levels of high-school completion and labor-force participation, says Brookings in a 2011 report.
The Guttmacher Institute found that the health care costs associated unplanned pregnancy are significant. More than 51 percent of unplanned pregnancies occur among low-income women, and publicly funded health care programs foot the bill, which reached $40.8 billion in 2010. In the absence of government-funded family programs, this bill would be
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