Republicans Across the Country Fighting for Preventive Healthcare

Over the course of the past year, Republicans have stepped up the fight for increased access to reproductive health and family planning services.

A prime example is the upgrade to South Carolina’s 27-year-old sex-education curriculum. This initiative was first introduced by South Carolina Republican State Representative B.R. Skelton in hopes to “decrease teen pregnancies a little bit and decrease STDs a little bit.”  Not only is this important because it will provide South Carolina teens with medically accurate, updated, modern, and helpful information that can help them make smart choices and know all of their options, but it also represents a bipartisan effort towards advancing reproductive health access. Other Republican Representatives that support this bill include South Carolina state Representative Jenny Horne and Representative K.R. Crawford.

We see additional advocacy for reproductive rights by Republican legislators in Massachusetts with Governor Charlie Baker’s initiative to allocate $300,000 of the 2016 Massachusetts budget to be used to provide contraceptive services to the women of Massachusetts. The funds provided by this initiative, the Women’s Preventative Health Reserve, will go towards providing women birth control coverage if their employers do not provide the coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act. This provides increased access for women who might not otherwise be able to afford birth control and, in the long run, will prove to be fiscally beneficial for Massachusetts: It is estimated that for every public dollar spent on providing contraceptive care, over $7 dollars is saved in Medicaid expenses that would result from unintended pregnancies.

Finally, in Oregon, an initiative first introduced by a Republican Representative Knute Buehler, has officially passed and will soon allow pharmacists to provide a prescription for birth control rather than requiring women to see a clinician first. This saves women time and money they would have spent getting to, from, and at the clinic and broadens access as a whole. As a physician himself, Buehler understands the medical aspects of the birth control debate. He told The Oregonian, “It just seemed unreasonable that [pharmacists] can’t dispense preventative contraception.” Other Republicans that support Over-the-Counter contraception include: Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Ed Gillespie, Senator Mike McFadden, Governor Bobby Jindal, and Representative Cory Gardner.

These three Republican-led initiatives not only increase access to reproductive health care and services to women but they are also fiscally beneficial and ensure personal freedom and rights.

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