President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package has been finalized and it does not include an important family planning provision.
The provision would have allowed states to offer family planning services under Medicaid â€” including contraceptives â€” without first seeking the permission of the Federal government.
Providing family planning to low-income women is just good public policy — and also a good way to reduce the number of abortions performed. Some House Republicans (and some House Democrats) just don’t get how preventing unwanted pregnancies is important to the economy. It’s very simple, if you accidentally get pregnant, you may not be able to go to work, or get a job, or keep your job. This affects not only women, but children as well. As many low-income families are led by women, it’s important that women are able to control when and if they have children.
The family planning provision represented less than a quarter of a percent of the total stimulus package, but Republicans made a stand on the issue.
If only our side would consistently make a stand on women’s health. Instead, women’s health was used as a bargaining chip. We are disappointed Mr. President.