With three weeks remaining until mid-term elections, all five gubernatorial candidates are meeting on Tuesday to debate jobs, economy and growth.
Something tells me that reforming our state’s sex education bill and women’s access to birth control isn’t going to come up. But it should.
On Huffington Post, Valerie Tarico states what should be the obvious, “Anybody who says that talking about reproductive rights is a distraction from talking about economics is not running the numbers.”
In a similar way that better education translates into a smarter, better trained, higher earning workforce, so does better health education translate into a healthier workforce that knows how to protect themselves from STIs and unintended pregnancies. When an industry considers locating in a state, it looks not only at the education of the workforce, but also the health status. Healthier workers are more productive and it costs businesses less to provide health benefits.
Teen childbearing cost South Carolinians about $166 million per year. In these tough economic times, we need to make sure we are investing in health education programs that reduce our state’s health care burden.
And again, to state what should be the obvious: women make up half the workforce. If women don’t have access to family planning services like birth control, if we cannot control if or when we want to become pregnant, then depending on a woman’s economic standing, she may have no choice but to leave her job to provide for her family.
Prevention helps save South Carolina taxpayers money and education and access to services are key components of preventing illnesses and unintended pregnancies and building a more robust economy that includes women.
If you want to know where our gubernatorial candidates stand on the economy, let's begin by asking them where they stand on medically accurate sex education. Click here to send them emails.