Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wow, Michigan is in bad shape...

Before I write this, I'd like to point out that I am not necessarily the most eloquent of writers. With that said, onward.

The Guttmacher Institute has put out some interesting statistics on contraceptives.

Now, some things in this struck me. A few of them are below:

1) In Michigan, 1,204,060 women are in need of contraceptive services and supplies. Of these, 582,140 women need publicly supported contraceptive services because they have incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level (406,230) or are sexually active teenagers (175,910).

These figures are just amazing to me - over 1.2 million women need contraceptive services and supplies, just in Michigan alone!!!

2) Every public dollar spent on family planning services saves the federal and state governments three dollars in Medicaid costs for prenatal and newborn care.

I would like to think this is a great argument in favor of family planning services, yet there are still people in Michigan that believe abstinence is the only way...

3) Michigan ranks 48TH in laws and policies - whether their laws and policies are likely to facilitate access to contraceptive services and information.

While I'm not surprised by this, it just makes me sad. If we want fewer unintended pregnancies, then why would we make it harder for women to have access to contraceptives and family planning?

And the another bit of information that is in this fact sheet:

About half of unintended pregnancies occur among couples who were using a contraceptive method in the month the woman became pregnant; either the method did not work properly or the couple did not use it consistently or correctly. Because the likelihood of pregnancy in the absence of contraception is high, the other half of unintended pregnancies occur among the one in 10 sexually active, fertile women who were not using any birth control method even though they were not trying to become pregnant.

So, does anyone want to tell me why we shouldn't teach people the proper way to use contraceptives or that they are important? Otherwise, we can continue to deal with the medical, social, economic, and personal tolls of unintended pregnancies in Michigan.