America Gets An Embarrassing C- In Women's Reproductive Health


The Population Institute has released its annual State of Reproductive Health And Rights report card, and it seems that in the opinion of the massive educational nonprofit, America isn’t doing so hot. If America were a high schooler, America would be grounded until America gets its grades up, otherwise America won’t be getting into any colleges.

The report consolidates information most people who have been paying attention to the news probably suspected: as the federal government attempts to expand access to reproductive health care, right wing ideologues at the state level are working busily to ensure that women can’t physically access the care the federal government is trying to expand. It’s like the federal government built a dream house halfway up a mountain and handed women the keys, but states were like, let’s make it illegal to build a driveway and then put a fence around the house and remove all the doors. And the women of states run by conservatives are like, hey, why can’t I get into my house? And the state legislators are like, use your bootstraps to get in. Monday morning analogy!

Because of this, the United States still lags embarrassingly behind other developed countries in women’s reproductive health (half of pregnancies in the US are “unintended,” which is absurdly high) and, if social conservatives at the state level get their way, could slip even further.

The Population Institute further breaks down scores on a state level, giving the lone A’s to California, Washington, Oregon, and Maryland, a liberal smattering of B’s that includes Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina, and proceeds downward to a new grade the Population Institute invented called the F- for Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, and Indiana. Damning, but I can’t imagine that Rick Perry gives a shit.

States were graded on such metrics as teen pregnancy rate, absence of burdensome abortion restrictions, comprehensive sex ed, and Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, among other factors.

Unfortunately for the states with particularly bad marks, proactively tending to women’s reproductive health isn’t a blow-off elective; it’s a mandatory piece in promoting a free and just society. But unfortunately for the Population Institute and the women of Texas, these bad grades can’t get Texas kicked off the football team.

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