Prevention First Act (S. 21 and H.R. 463)
Prevention First Act (S. 21 and H.R. 819)
Introduced by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and
Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY)
What it is
Why you should support it
For more information
What it is>>
The Prevention First Act is intended to reduce the number of
unintended pregnancies in the United
States by increasing access to affordable
family planning services, including contraception and emergency contraception
for those who have been sexually assaulted and ensuring that young people
receive medically accurate information about the health benefits and failure
rates of contraception. Specifically, the bill includes provisions to:
- Increase access to family planning services through the
national family planning program (Title X) and allow states to expand Medicaid family
planning services to women with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal
poverty level. Title X funding has been stagnant, and this bill would adjust
the funding level as if it had kept pace with the rate of inflation.
that private health plans offer the same level of coverage for
contraception as they do for other prescription drugs and services.
that women who survive sexual assault receive factually accurate
information about emergency contraception (EC) and access to EC upon
$10 million to implement important public education initiatives about EC
and its benefits and uses to women and medical providers.
$20 million in annual funding for competitive grants to public and private
entities working to establish or expand teen pregnancy prevention
that all information provided about the use of contraception as part of
any federally funded program is medically accurate and includes accurate
information about the health benefits and failure rates of contraception.
Why you should support it>>
The Prevention First Act would reduce unintended pregnancies
and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Each year, almost half of all the
pregnancies in the United
States-about three million-are unintended, a
high rate among industrialized nations. Of these three million, nearly half end
in abortion. The United
States also has the highest rate of STIs of
any industrialized country. By improving women's and young people's access to
affordable contraception, including the morning-after pill, and comprehensive
sexuality education, the Prevention First Act would enact concrete steps to
reduce unintended pregnancies and STIs.
The Prevention First Act gives people the tools to exercise
their reproductive rights. American women and their partners have an
internationally recognized right if, when and how many children to have, but
financial barriers often put this right out of reach. Although most women rely
on health insurance to cover the cost of family planning, in 2003, one in five
American women of reproductive age did not have health insurance-10 percent
more than in 2001. Many private health plans still do not cover contraceptive
services and supplies.
With flagging funding for publicly supported family planning
services and thanks to the ascendancy of biased, incomplete
"abstinence-only-until-marriage" programs for teens, young people
across the country are missing accurate information about contraception and
pregnancy, as well as guidance on healthy relationships. By supporting programs
that provide reproductive health information and services and enforce standards
of medical accuracy and completeness, the Prevention First Act will enable
women and their partners to make more informed choices about whether and when
they wish to become parents.
The Prevention First Act is cost-effective. When states
expand Medicaid coverage for family planning, they can save
expenditures on other health care costs. Increasing access to family
planning services will not only increase women's reproductive decision-making
power, but also reduce the public health burden of unintended pregnancies.
The Prevention First Act was introduced in the
Senate (S. 21) on January 6, 2009 and in the House (HR 463) on January 13, 2009.
For more information, including the full text of the bill and a complete list
of co-sponsoring Senators and Representatives, click here.
Right now, we need to build support for this
legislation in the House and Senate. Help ensure that all Americans have access
to critical health information and services.
Contact your Senators today and ask them to co-sponsor the Prevention First Act (S. 21).
to find your Senators' contact information. If your Senators are already co-sponsors, write or call to thank them for their leadership on this issue!
Contact your Representative today and ask them to co-sponsor the Prevention First Act (H.R. 463).
to find your Representative's contact information. If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, write or call to thank them for their leadership on this issue!
For more information>>
The Guttmacher Report
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Presbyterian Church, USA
The Sierra Club
ICPD Programme of Action