RMC Responds: Birth Control is the AnswerPosted: August 2, 2013
We often hear comments from citizens who do not wish to support publicly funded family planning initiatives. This week, we would like to take a chance to look at the numbers and highlight the reasons that investments in family planning are necessary and financially smart for our nation.
Unfortunately, many Americans still do not have unfettered access to birth control. Cost and restrictions can make contraception inaccessible to those people who need it most; regular visits to a doctor and prescription costs prevent many people from obtaining reliable birth control. And now, in states such as Texas, some uninformed lawmakers are reducing funding to family planning initiatives, cutting off all healthcare access to many families. The results of these cuts have been glaringly injurious to all citizens. Unintended pregnancies in Texas have been on the rise, and the cost to taxpayers could be as high as $273 million. Some people argue that it is not the duty of government to provide these services, but the reality is that without them, the financial burden on taxpayers will be dramatically increased in the long run.
As Republicans, we firmly believe in responsible government spending, and we cannot allow our leaders to cut corners now that will cost taxpayers millions in the future. While some individuals object to investments in family planning, the reality is that spending money on preventative services now will save the nation millions of dollars down the road; it is truly the only fiscally responsible choice.
The Republican Party once championed investments in family planning, and the numbers clearly illustrate why we must move back towards that position. A recent study from the Guttmacher Institute reveals that for every $1 spent on family planning initiatives, the nation saves $5.68 in the long run. With programs like Title X, we can increase the quality of living for out citizens and save enormously on healthcare burdens in the future. The facts are undeniable: family planning and access to birth control save the country money.
In addition to proving the only sensible choice, family planning initiatives also serve the goals of social conservatives. Without public investment in family planning, 2010 would have seen approximately 2.2 million more unintended pregnancies, resulting in 760,000 more abortions. This is an issue where we can find common ground. There is only one way proven effective to reduce the rate and incidence of abortion: promoting access and use of birth control. We should agree on this issue no matter our political views.
Birth control is essential. We need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on choice debates that are going nowhere and instead spend our time and money educating people and ensuring access to contraception. The Republican Party needs to do the responsible thing and return to a platform that embraces family planning initiatives in order to save the nation millions of dollar and reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. We must act responsible for our families and our wallets, and make prevention a priority. Only then can we reduce the number of abortions, increase overall health, and save the nation money.