It is a necessity: Women need reliable information, services and referrals in order to have optimal health, prevent pregnancy if they are not ready, prepare for pregnancy if they are ready, and have healthier birth outcomes. There is currently no recognition of these preventive reproductive health services as a standard in primary care although they are essential for women’s health.
- The average American woman desires 2 children, but she is fertile for about 39 years.
- Most women spend more than 30 years of their lives trying to prevent an unintended pregnancy every month.
- They spend the remainder of those years trying to have as healthy a pregnancy as possible.
It benefits society: Preventive reproductive health is essential to women’s ability to sustain good health from childhood through senior years, as well as to enable women to play a full and vital role in the social and economic fabric of our communities.
It benefits the family: Women play an important role in health care for the whole family, since many women arrange care for spouses, children and elders. Access to contraception and pregnancy preparation helps women to plan optimal timing for having children.
It is Prevention:
- Contraception is a core preventive service for women.
- Prenatal care, while important, is not sufficient for healthy pregnancies. Problems that affect the health of a pregnancy need to be addressed before a woman is pregnant through good preconception care.
It makes Economic Sense:
- Unintended pregnancy can increase financial stressors for families.
- The adverse consequences of unintended pregnancies affect not only the children and families of these pregnancies, but also society as a whole through the increasing costs of health, education and social services.
- Unintended pregnancies often derail women from their life plans, including work options and educational opportunities.
- Unintended pregnancy is a health disparity issue: Women who are low-income, rural women, and communities of color have higher rates of unintended pregnancy, and the negative health outcomes that can follow. Prevention of unintended pregnancies has the potential to decrease the disparities in health among women and children of different socio-economic statuses.