Vermont gets an A in reproductive health/rights report card for 2017

-A A +A

Vermont gets an A in reproductive health/rights report card for 2017

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine On the heels of the Trump administration's proposed 2019 budget, which would slash support for reproductive health programs, the Population Institute has released its sixth annual report card on reproductive health and rights in the US. The results were alarming, showing declining overall reproductive health and rights and growing disparities between states after a year of Trump policies. For 2017, the overall US grade fell from a "D" to a "D-." 18 states got a failing grade. Vermont received an "A."

These findings reflect sharp differences in how states handle family planning and reproductive health programs, as well as stepped up attacks on those programs by the Trump administration.   

"The Trump administration and its allies in Congress have escalated the assault on reproductive health and rights,"said Robert Walker, president of the Population Institute.  "At the state level, we are seeing a deep and growing divide between states that seek to protect reproductive health and rights and those that do not. States with good grades are gradually improving, while states with poor grades are showing little or no improvement."

Twenty-two states received a B- or higher in 2017. Eleven states (California, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) received an "A" in 2017, up from five the year before. The improved showing was largely attributable to state declines in teenage pregnancy rates.

But 27 states received a "D" or lower. 18 of those states received a failing grade ("F"), including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

"The United States is in danger of becoming, in effect, the Divided States of Reproductive Health and Rights," said Walker. "We cannot let that happen. All those who are concerned about the state of reproductive health in America should be making their voices heard."

The Trump budget proposal unveiled this week signals worse attacks to come. It would eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, invest in ineffective abstinence-only education programs, and block patients from seeing their preferred health care provider, Planned Parenthood.

Download the report card here. Special thanks goes to the Guttmacher Institute, whose research made it possible.

SOURCE WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Population Institute