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The Eat Less, Move More Approach to Family Planning

Posted by Ryan Morgan on August 02, 2013 at 11:33 AM
The Guttmacher Institute released a study this week that found publicly funded family planning services helped prevent 2.2 million unintended pregnancies every year, and saved the federal and state governments $5.68 for every $1 spent in 2010. Guttmacher study Publicly funding family planning programs seems like a no-brainer then, right? Don’t we want all pregnancies to be wanted? Don’t we want to save federal and state governments money? But of course you know some people—*cough* legislators and other key decision makers *cough*—often ignore the reasonable, sensible course when it comes to reproductive health. It kind of reminds me of the MADtv sketch, “Eat Less, Move More.” After a woman complains that she’d do ANYTHING to lose weight a voice over offers, “What if I told you there was something you can do?” “Really? I’d do anything.” “Eat less, move more.” She’s not convinced. In the face of a simple, commonsense solution to a public health epidemic, the character remains skeptical—“eat less, move more” sounds too complicated. It must be a scam… Well it’s the same way with preventing unintended births. “What if I told you you could help women prevent 2.2 million unintended pregnancies and save $10.5 billion? Is that something you’d be interested in?” “Sure! We’d love to prevent unintended pregnancies! Tell us more!” “Fund family planning services.” “Ugh. No thanks. Sounds politically risky. We think we’ll just defund these services even though 19.1 million women need them.” The smart (and ethical) money invests in prevention and access. Let’s not let our legislators forget!

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