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Texas Receives F- Grade for Reproductive Health and Rights

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST

According to The Population Institute's report card on reproductive health and rights, Texas is failing women by blocking access to basic health services and accurate sex education.

The reproductive health report, which focused on effectiveness, prevention, affordability, and access, evaluated each of the 50 states and gave 13 a failing grade.

Texas' teen pregnancy rate, excessive abortion restrictions, poor sex ed, and refusal to expand Medicaid were cited in the score breakdown.

The Population Institute's president, Robert Walker, said, "Every woman should be able to access affordable reproductive health care and young people should be getting comprehensive sex education in their school no matter where they live. With a failing grade it is clear that Texas is not meeting the reproductive health needs of women in the state."

Read more about the state of Texas' reproductive health and rights after the jump.

Texas' conservative leadership has worked hard to ensure that women lack access to affordable, full-spectrum reproductive health care.

As a result, Texas has some of the worst rates of teen pregnancies and repeat teen pregnancies in the nation.

The Population Institute report card assessed states based on nine criteria: teen pregnancy rate, unintended pregnancy rate, sex education, access to emergency contraception, Medicaid expansion, Medicaid Family Planning expansion, funding for family planning clinics, abortion restrictions, and abortion access.

Overall, Texas received 41.3 points out of 100. Of the nine criteria, the state received passing grades in only two areas-unintended pregnancy rate and counties with abortion providers.

The Population Institute report gave the state a 1 out of 10 for the abortion restrictions criteria, listing the 20-week ban, mandatory ultrasound, 24-hour waiting period, and parental consent requirement as laws that make obtaining an abortion "unnecessarily difficult."

The United States overall received a C- grade for the second year in a row, largely due to state laws that have limited access to family planning services.

Additionally, the unintended pregnancy rate is "stubbornly high" and exceeds the rates of all other developed nations. Almost half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended; more than half of pregnancies in Texas unplanned.

California, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington were the only states to receive an A grade. A total of 17 states received a B- or higher.

Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.

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Do not republish without express written permission.

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