WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Population Institute today released its new report card on U.S. reproductive health and rights, and the results were alarming, dropping from a national average of "C" in 2014 to "D+" in 2015. The Institute cited stepped up attacks on Planned Parenthood and other providers of reproductive health services during 2015 as factors in the decline.
Using nine criteria including effectiveness, prevention, affordability and access to clinics and services, the report card grades each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on reproductive health and rights. Only seventeen states received a B- or higher. Just four states (California, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington) received an "A". Nineteen states received a failing grade of "F" (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming).
"Inflamed by heavily edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood, hostility to reproductive health and rights reached a fever pitch in the past year," said Population Institute President Robert Walker. "There has been an avalanche of legislation—both proposed and enacted—to restrict clinic access and reduce funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers."
In 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives voted seven times to defund Planned Parenthood, and just did so again yesterday. "Attacks on Planned Parenthood are potentially devastating. Planned Parenthood health centers make up just 10% of publicly funded safety-net providers, but serve 36% of clients seeking contraceptive services. There are 103 counties in which Planned Parenthood health centers serve 100%."
In 2015 the U.S. House Appropriations Committee also sought, unsuccessfully, to eliminate all funding for Title X, which would deny millions of women access to contraception and other vital health care services, including cancer screenings. Abortion restrictions in Texas and in other states forced dozens of family planning clinics to close. Physical assaults on clinics—ranging from vandalism and arson to the shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs—have created a climate of fear.
Walker said, "This report card should be a wake-up call for all those worried about the status of reproductive health and rights in their state." For a copy of the report card, including state-by-state results, go to www.populationinstitute.org/reportcard.
Contact: Stephen Kent, firstname.lastname@example.org, 914-589-5988
SOURCE Population Institute