We are a state built to serve the men and women who live within it. As participants in the state's economy and politics, we all deserve to be heard and protected. The Pro-Choice movement is trying to make sure women have the services they need when they need them. Recently, womens' rights have been taken away. This while other solutions to issues facing public health have been ignored.
The conversation surrounding women’s rights has been dominated by men. This has created an Anti-Choice v Pro-Choice conversation. One side does not support the rights guaranteed to women through the courts over 40 years ago. Alabama now has abortion laws that ban the right to an abortion in cases of rape or incest. In Arkansas, women have lost control of their body as fathers of the fetus are now able to deny an abortion. As the laws become more strict, women suffer. States like Missouri, Georgia, and Louisiana, have three of the worst maternal death rates with a range of 32.6 to 46.2 per 100,000 births, according to the United Health Foundation. These states also fall in the bottom 11 in healthcare as reported by US News and World Report. If states want to reduce the number of abortions, they must focus their efforts elsewhere.
These conversations are heavy and everyone agrees that the loss of life is heavy. We agree that the decisions are not easy. So let's create solutions that work to fight the reasons someone might need an abortion. The state of Minnesota must teach comprehensive sexual education in its public schools. States that get rid of abstinence-only education have success. The tale of California, as reported by the Huffington Post, says it all. In 1992 California had a teen birth rate of 157 per 1000 teens and an abortion rate of 76 per 1000 teens. For three years they would pursue abstinence-only educational method. Over that time there was no change. In 2003, they started teaching comprehensive sex education. By 2005 teen pregnancy rates fell by 50 percent. Abortion rates went down by roughly two-thirds. By 2014, the teen birth rate had fallen all the way down to 21.1 per 1000 teens. A proper education, paired with the right tools guarantees a higher success rate.
Women should have access to free birth control. In a study launched by the Contraceptive Choice Project in 2007 huge successes were seen. At the time 45 percent of pregnancies were reported as unplanned, while 42% of those ended in abortion. To study the impacts of free contraception on pregancies and abortion they got help from 9,000 women. At the end of the four year study period, their abortion rate was 9.7 per 1000 women. National numbers over the time reported an abortion rate at 41.5 per 1000 women. They also had more than 120 less pregnancies per 1000 women and almost 80 less births. Study authors reported that every dollar spent on birth control can save $4-$17 in future costs.