Reproductive rights have been under fire in America for a while now, and sadly, the attacks appear to have been having an impact. A new report card from The Population Institute show reproductive rights in the United States are pretty abysmal in a large number of states, and that states with a grade of F outnumber states with an A by more than four to one. And you thought your grades were bad.
So what is all this based on? Well, The Population Institute explains that they determine their scores based on four broad criteria: access, as determined by things like legal restrictions on abortions and how many women live within reasonable distance of an abortion provider; affordability, including whether or not a state has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; effectiveness, with things like the rate of unintended pregnancy being a key indicator; and prevention, as determine by criteria such as the state of sex education in schools.
Given the number of laws proposed and passed in recent years trying to restrict women's reproductive rights, the many successful attempts to close abortion clinics, the resistance to the Affordable Care Act from many governors, and the state of sex ed in our country, it's not surprising that so many states got failing grades — or that the overall score for the country is a D plus.
Some states, thankfully, seem to be doing all right, but as the organization's president, Robert Walker, pointed out, the inconsistency is also troubling. "Increasingly, the reproductive health of a woman depends on the state or community where she lives," Walker said in a press release. "That’s wrong as a matter of both rights and health.”
He added, “This report card should be a wake-up call for all those worried about the status of reproductive health and rights in their state.”
So which states are doing well and which states are failing? Well, here are the four states to receive an A. Because at least things are going well somewhere, right?
No surprises here, I guess, but California has the reputation it has for a reason.
2. New Jersey
New Jersey is the only state not on the West Coast to get an A this year. Who would have thought that the best place to live out east would ever be New Jersey?
Good for you, Oregon.
And rounding out the West Coast states, we have Washington.
So those four states at least are something to be proud of. As for the rest of the country, well...
I know. The whole thing is depressing me, too. If you live in one of the states that has anything less than an A — and especially if your state has an F — I hope things improve soon!
You can find out more about individual states here.
Image: The Population Institute