This story from today’s Washington Post is what our #Campaign4CommonGround is all about – supporting programs that WORK!Posted: April 28, 2016
Last week RMC was back on Capitol Hill meeting with Congressional leaders who control the House and Senate budget process. A main focus of our discussions was the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP).
Our meetings are producing important new alliances and we’re doing everything we can to build our coalition but we cannot achieve our goals without help from grassroots supporters like you.
Today’s Post story supports our assertion that TPPP is working because it can provide comprehensive information about the most effective forms of birth control and support the idea that not having or delaying sex is also a good choice.
Reducing teen and unplanned pregnancy not only saves billions in taxpayer dollars; it will reduce poverty, increase educational achievement and workforce competitiveness, and improve health and social outcomes for children, women and families.
Take a look below for some key facts on the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Then, consider donating to RMC by clicking here. Any level of support will help ensure our team can continue pushing GOP leadership to support vital programs like TPPP.
Put your support where it makes a real difference — remember we are the only Republican pro-choice, pro-family organization talking directly to the GOP leaders who set the Congressional agenda.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, but with your help, our momentum will continue.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP): We recommend restoring funding for the TPPP to $110 million—the level it started at in FY 2010. TPPP is currently funded at $101 million for FY 2016.
- It is estimated that teen childbearing costs taxpayers at least $9.4 billion annually.
- In the US, roughly one in four girls will become pregnant before the age of 20.
- 30% of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite pregnancy/parenthood as a key reason.
- Fewer than 2% of those who have a child before age 18 attain a college degree by age 30.
Since TPPP and one other evidence-based program began in 2010, the U.S. teen birth rate has declined 29%, a drop twice as large as in any other four-year period.
- Investing in teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention reduces public spending and abortion while improving economic competitiveness and the health and wellbeing of families.
- The estimated annual savings due to the substantial decline in the teen birth is $12 billion.
- TPPP meets teens where they are with the information they need to succeed. The program ensures communities have the flexibility to choose an approach that reflects their needs and values.
- Evidence-based models include those that focus on abstinence alone, abstinence and contraception, parent-child communication and/or youth development – programs just need to prove they work!
- TPPP is a sound investment and represents just .06% of the total LHHS appropriations for FY 2016.
- Further, evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs enjoy broad public approval: 83% of adults overall (92% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans) support TPPP.
One of the most staggering things we can see from national data is just how far-reaching the limitations on women’s reproductive health are across the United States. Unlike many other social phenomena that infiltrate our nation’s political scene and typically fall under one ideological view in certain regions, restrictions on women’s reproductive health options are widespread and unlimited. With the exception of parts of the West and Northeast, detrimental laws continue to be passed throughout the United States, inhibiting women in more ways than one.
According to the New York Times, ten states have imposed more than ten policies that block women’s access to a safe and legal abortion in some capacity since 2011. To put it another way: In just a four year timespan, one-fifth of the United States has created an environment of hardship and lack of solution for women who need access to basic, fundamental healthcare.
The states that have imposed these harsh measures to prevent women and families the access they deserve are sadly in states with Republican-led legislatures and Governors. It has become increasingly obvious that geographic location does not play as much of a role in these issues as party affiliations and political ties. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas continue to be led by conservative lawmakers who are not focusing on real solutions that put individual freedom back into the homes of women and families. At such a crucial time, it is imperative that common-sense Republicans reach out to legislators to voice their displeasure with the continued attacks on reproductive health access. Hundreds of thousands of Republicans disagree with these policies their lawmakers put into place; it’s time that we speak up.
Republican Majority for Choice is tirelessly working with REAL Republicans who want to preserve the original conservative ideals of personal liberty and individual responsibility. By having conversations with policymakers on both sides of the aisle, we are confident that we can find effective solutions to continue decreasing the rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion. Through advocating for family planning initiatives and preventative measures, we will reach compromises with lawmakers from around the nation to ensure safe options for women that can be discussed with their families and medical practitioners.
Not surprisingly, the occurrence of teen pregnancies has also decreased dramatically– with the rate dropping to its lowest level in more than thirty years as of 2011. According to the report produced by the Institute, these significant and historic declines are likely influenced by an increased use of contraception.
With rates dropping so drastically, it is important to recognize the essential factors driving these changes in reproductive health. More access to education and safe, effective birth control has led teens to take personal responsibility and control of their own decisions. Learning about options that are legal and have proven success rates encourage teens to engage in family planning initiatives, thus decreasing the rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion.
The report noted that “there is evidence that contraceptive practices have improved among older teens.” Increased availability to learning about contraception methods has clearly influenced its usage rate– a positive fact among many disheartening laws that attempt to prevent personal liberty and choice. Republican Majority for Choice is proud to propose and support policies that can be appreciated by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle– ones that lower the rate of unintended pregnancies and abortions.
As many Democrats cling to the hashtag #DoYourJob in reference to some Republican senators who refuse to consider Judge Merrick Garland as President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, a few positive actions are being overlooked. Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Mark Kirk (IL) are meeting with the nominee– something many Republicans won’t even consider.
On Tuesday, Senator Collins noted that she is “more convinced than ever” that Merrick Garland should have hearings after having a conversation with the nominee. After meeting with him on Capitol Hill for more than an hour and becoming only one of two Republican senators that have called for a hearing, she recalled his humility and long line of accomplishments that would make him a good fit for the position. Though she believes she is unlikely to change the minds of her colleagues in the Senate, the Chicago Tribune noted that “Collins said Garland is well-informed and thoughtful and that her colleagues would be impressed with him. She has spoken out at caucus meetings to try to convince others to have meetings and support hearings.”
Senator Mark Kirk also met with Judge Garland, touting him as “one of the most eminent jurists in the country.” Kirk noted the closed-minded nature of his colleagues that are refusing to give the nominee a chance. Particularly aiming this viewpoint at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kirk stated “By leading by example, I’m showing what a rational, responsible guy would do that really wants the constitutional process to go forward.”
An even more thoughtful way to perceive this issue is the possibility of our next President being a Democrat and he or she nominating someone who is considerably more liberal than Judge Garland. The nominee’s quite centrist viewpoints on a lot of issues the Court is facing could prove the best possibility for both parties– and the most fair compromise.
Today in our news round up we included a story about a short film, When Abortion Was Illegal. The film contains the stories of real women –mothers, sisters, daughters. The film also serves as a stark reminder of what it was like to lack access to safe and legal abortion services.
Regardless of where you stand on the right to choose we must do better to ensure all women have access to information, prevention and planning. These are the best ways to lower the rate of unplanned pregnancy and abortions – goals most of us share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKd9zWjxr6k