Annual State of Reproductive Health And Rights report card.
News Release from Population Institute January 13, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Population Institute today released its second annual report card on reproductive health and rights in the U.S., and the results were not encouraging. Hawaii received a C. Thirteen states receive a failing grade. The U.S. as a whole received a “C-.”
In releasing the report card, Robert Walker, the organization’s President, said, “Every woman should be able to access affordable reproductive health care and young people should be getting comprehensive sex education in their school no matter where they live. With Hawaii’s poor grade it is clear they are not meeting the reproductive health needs of women in the state. Failing to meet these needs can contribute to high rates of unintended pregnancies, including teen pregnancies.”
Using nine criteria, the Institute’s report card ranked each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on four broad indicators relating to reproductive health and rights:
Effectiveness (30 points): Statewide, what percentage of pregnancies is unintended, and how high is the state’s teenage pregnancy rate?
Prevention (20 points): Does the state promote comprehensive sex education in the schools, and does it support access to emergency contraception?
Affordability (30 points): Does the state have policies designed to make birth control affordable to uninsured and low-income individuals?
Access (20 points): Does the state impose harassing or burdensome requirements on those seeking family planning or abortion services?
Based upon their composite scores (0-100), each state received a “core” grade (A, B, C, D or F), but some states received an additional “plus” or a “minus” reflecting factors, such as pending legislation, not accounted for in the core grade.
Hawaii received a ‘C-’ grade because:
- Hawaii mandates that emergency rooms provide information about emergency contraception and dispense it upon request.
- Hawaii does not mandate sex education in public schools.
- Hawaii is expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, but currently does not offer an expansion for family planning services to the Medicaid plan.
- Hawaii requires clinicians who perform medication abortion procedures to be licensed physicians.
Only seventeen states received a B- or higher. Just four states (California, Maryland, Oregon and Washington) received an “A”. Oregon received the highest composite score. Thirteen states received a failing grade (“F”). States receiving a failing grade included Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Walker said, “This year should have brought increased access to reproductive health care for women under the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately 25 states have refused to expand their Medicaid coverage leaving millions without increased access to services. It is imperative that people who care about reproductive health and rights know how their state ranks vis-à-vis other states.”
Despite the continued decline of the teenage pregnancy rate, America’s teenage pregnancy rate is still higher than any other industrialized nation; nearly 3 out of 10 teenage girls will become pregnant. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended. To change this we must ensure that women, including young women, have access to affordable reproductive health services and young people get a comprehensive sex education.
PDF: Breakdown of Scores
News Release: Hawaii Planned Parenthood