Last year, Eme Crawford wrote a blog about South Carolina's reproductive health report card. Our good old state didn't do too bad; we received a "B!" However, this year we've slipped a bit ... and that's no good.
The Population Institute released its third annual report card on reproductive health and rights, showing the United States as a whole received a "C," which was an improvement from the previous year. But our mighty state of South Carolina slipped from a "B" down to a "C." In fact, South Carolina was one of 10 states to receive such a grade.
But what does this "C" really mean?
The Population Institute used certain criteria to judge, with prevention, affordability, effectiveness and access as the main factors to base their grades upon. We got a decent-ish grade for prevention, citing CHEA. But we all know how that desperately needs updating. In effectiveness we did our best, citing an achieved objective of 67 pregnancies per 1,000 teen women as the goal. With 56% of South Carolina's total pregnancies being unintended, we still have room to lower that rate... but we are getting closer to our objective of 44% by 2020. Affordability was a wash: 0 out of 10 points for Medicaid expansion, but 10 out of 10 for Medicaid coverage of family planning services. The fact that we spend $110 per woman in need in 2010 lowered our scores as well. And finally, as you could have guessed, our scores for access were low, low, low. To make a long story short, 72% of women live in a county without an abortion provider. Let that sink in.
Sure, we could have done worse. We could have failed like 15 other states. But just because we didn't do AS bad as other states, doesn't mean we couldn't have done better. The failure of others doesn't make our shortcomings less disappointing.
Here's a national map of all the grades earned by each state:
As much as I'm sure our conservative lawmakers would hate to agree, those "west coast liberals" sure are making strides at reproductive health and rights. The entire Pacific coast (minus Alaska) is blue! I think it's time South Carolina took a page from California's, Oregon's or Washington's book.
Want more info? Look no future: click here.
Want to see OUR report card for yourself: boom.
So, how about you look up and to your right and join the Virtual March to let our lawmakers know that we deserve to make an A, not a C.