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Population Institute's Annual Report Card Shows Reproductive Health and Rights at a Tipping Point: U.S. gets an "F"

Population Institute's Annual Report Card Shows Reproductive Health and Rights at a Tipping Point: U.S. gets an "F"

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the non-profit Population Institute released its 50 State Report Card on Reproductive Health and Rights. The most comprehensive assessment of its kind, it annually tracks multiple indicators of reproductive health and rights, including access to family planning, sex education, and abortion services, across each state.  

The new report card finds a large divide between states that are prioritizing reproductive health and rights and access to reproductive health services, vs. those that are seeking to curtail them. Five states got an "A," 23 states failed, and for the second year in a row, the U.S. as a whole also failed.

The Biden-Harris administration will strive to improve reproductive health and rights at the federal level. But the reshaping of the federal judiciary by the Trump-Pence Administration, and persistent hostility to family planning in Republican-controlled state governments, stands to undermine Americans' reproductive health, rights and justice for decades to come. 

"We're at a turning point," said Jennie Wetter, the Population Institute's director of public policy. "The Biden-Harris administration faces a steep uphill battle to reverse the sharp decline in reproductive health and rights over the last four years."

Amid the pandemic, "anti-choice" advocates sought to restrict access to reproductive health care. In several states they denied access to abortion services by classifying them as non-essential health care, while the Trump administration sought to require people seeking medication abortion first see a doctor in person, putting their health needlessly at risk.

While courts have blocked many attacks in recent years, Wetter said, "Anti- choice advocates will keep trying to restrict access to reproductive health services. The Biden-Harris administration has a lot of work to do. Not everything will be easily or quickly fixed."

Taking advantage of the new make-up of the Supreme Court, anti-choice advocates are expected to file legal challenges to any new legislative or regulatory changes. "If they succeed," Wetter warned, "the people most impacted will be underserved populations, including low-income people, Black people, other communities of color, young people, and the LGBTQ+ community. Existing disparities in access to reproductive health services will worsen. Despite the new Congress and the new administration, the fight over affordable access to sexual and reproductive health care is far from over."

Source: Population Institute

Contact:  Stephen Kent, 914-589-5988

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SOURCE Population Institute

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