Reducing Birth Control Access Hurts Families and the Economy
Upstream CEO Mark Edwards wrote an op-ed in Newsweek about the Administration’s recent birth control rule change—and how this rollback hurts women, families, and our economy as a whole:
All of us – our families, our communities, our economy – pay a price when there are barriers to contraceptive access.
Our country bears an expensive public cost when access to birth control is limited. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, resulting in 1.5 million unplanned births each year. Two-thirds of these births are paid for with public dollars to the tune of $21 billion a year, including public outlays for prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care and years of infant care.
But the costs don’t end with just these expenses – babies born as a result of unplanned pregnancy are significantly more likely to arrive preterm or at a low birth weight. This can lead to developmental problems and other health complications that often create lifelong issues and lead to pricey medical bills.
There’s a strong ripple effect to unplanned pregnancies. Unplanned pregnancy is a leading reason why young women put their education on hold or leave the workforce, lowering earning potential and increasing the likelihood of poverty for them and their children.
What’s most important in all of this is that it isn’t what women want for themselves.