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Nathan Newman on March 16, 2006 - 9:26am
If you want to make abortion less common, making contraception available is one of the first places to start. Yet the Missouri House voted to eliminate funding for contraception provided through public health clinics. "It's going to have the opposite effect of what the intention is, which will be more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions," said Rep. Kate Meiners, D-Kansas City. 86% of the public supports programs to fund contraception and studies show that such programs have prevented an estimated 20 million unwanted pregnancies and nine million abortions in the past two decades. Yet, since 1994, many states have cut funding for family planning, contributing to the high pregnancy and abortion rates in the US:
"Unintended pregnancy in the United States is twice as high as in most of Western Europe," she said in an interview. "As a direct result, abortion rates are twice or three times as high as European countries. There is no reason why abortion rates need to be as high as they are." The problem is particularly acute for the nation's estimated 17 million adolescent girls and low-income women, because a lack of education and money are often barriers to practicing abstinence or effective birth control.Most Americans recognize this and overwhelmingly support making contraception available; politicians in places like Missouri shouldn't continue to cave into the agenda of the radical religious right.