Women’s health is an issue that has been politicized for too long. The facts are that in a society where women are healthy, families are healthy. We can no longer afford to be a divided society that ignores facts and research in favor of partisan talking points. Terms such as “pro-life” and “pro-choice” create a false narrative that there are only two sides to the discussion. We reject both titles. The issue is just too complex to be boiled down into a two-word answer, and most politicians who embrace those titles are merely seeking votes.
There is much on the issue that most people agree on once those titles are set aside. No one, on any side of the discussion, wants abortions. Most people agree that there are situations where it is a necessary medical procedure to have, as in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman. The aspect where we become divided is in other examples.
We believe that this division is one we can overcome. In fact, we believe that the solution is not political. Given that the right to choose is the law of the land, and given that no one likes abortions, we believe that the answer is to provide women the help they need so that they no longer feel that they have no choice but to seek an abortion. We believe - and studies verify it to be true - that by making contraception freely available, we can stop unwanted pregnancies before they ever begin. Once a woman is pregnant, we must work to have the support systems in place so that she feels that it is a financially viable choice to keep the baby regardless of her financial standing. Having programs like day care, after-school care, and guaranteed paid maternity leave will all help to reduce abortions. We must stop letting politicians divide us on this issue and work together to solve it at its core.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are the most effective form of birth control, but IUDs are only used by 6.4% of women (CDC report). IUDs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and have a lifespan of up to 12 years.
51% of pregnancies are unplanned, and 95% of those pregnancies are a result of either not using any type form of birth control or forgetting to take the pill at the same time every day (Guttmacher Institute).
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, broader usage of IUDs would drastically reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
25% of women who have abortions report that they choose to terminate their pregnancy because they were not ready to have children. 7% said that they were not yet mature enough to raise a child. 8% did not want to be a single mother. 19% reported that they did not want to have any more children. 23% report that they would not have been able to afford the costs of having a baby. Guaranteed access to birth control could reduce the abortion rate by up to 82% (Data from the Guttmacher Institute).
Germany provides 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and has an abortion rate 1/3 of the United States. Paid maternity leave leads to fewer abortions.
"The childcare industry has a distinct impact on our nation’s economy. Access to high-quality child care leads to a more skilled workforce. Families and employers depend on quality child care: for more stability for today’s employees and to lay the foundation for tomorrow’s workforce." –Committee for Economic Development
We must launch public education campaigns aimed at informing women of birth control options, specifically IUDs. Pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on direct marketing to consumers. If the drug companies want to use our airwaves to market their products, it's only fair that we demand they spend some of that money on public education.
We must support women being able to choose from the full range of contraceptives available. Consistent and efficient birth control use is proven to lead to positive outcomes.
We must ensure that any woman who wants birth control will be provided with birth control–even if taxpayers must foot the bill. Paying for birth control is significantly more cost-effective than paying out government benefits over the course of a child's life. Plus, it is the right thing to do.
We must provide paid maternity leave. Nobody should have to worry about being able to pay rent, utilities, and putting food on the table just because of having a baby.
Having a child should not prevent a teenager from finishing high school or going to college. Children should not prevent a parent from being able to work. Government-funded daycare is a moral imperative, but it also makes economic sense. Would you rather pay for welfare, public housing, food stamps, and other social programs because someone is unable to work due to the exuberant costs of childcare or would you rather pay for childcare? One scenario provides no economic return, and the other grows our economy and instills a good work ethic in our future leaders.
Currently, children across the nation are being raised without much parental involvement because of parent work schedules. The lack of parental involvement in early developmental years enables future juvenile delinquency and school truancy. We must develop policies that restore the family unit.
Abortion is a procedure that is unfortunately necessary and must remain legal, but that does not mean it has to be or should be common. Abortion must be an exceptionally rare, safe procedure. Rob's plans guarantee both!