The National Council of Jewish Women is renewing its support for the Prevention First Act, re-introduced yesterday in the House and Senate. The organization says the bill would reduce unwanted pregnancies by increasing access to contraceptive services and medically accurate information about sexual health. Here’s a statement from NCJW president Nancy Ratzan:
The Prevention First Act is urgently needed to ensure that all women have access to family planning services and to accurate information about their sexual health. The ability to plan pregnancies has been a crucial tool in improving maternal and infant health, and has given women the ability to control their own fertility and therefore their own lives in accordance with their personal religious and ethical beliefs. The federal government has long recognized the need for a federal role funding contraceptive services, but that role has weakened in recent years.
“Among other things, the Prevention First Act would significantly increase family planning funding; mandate equitable insurance coverage for contraception; ensure that rape victims have access to emergency contraception; and promote comprehensive sex education programs. This agenda is the basis for Plan A: NCJW’s Campaign for Contraceptive Access, a community-based initiative working to secure and protect women’s access to contraceptive options and information.
“In 2000 the US government set a goal of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies by 40 percent by 2010. If this goal is to be met, the nation will have to redouble its efforts in this arena. NCJW has worked diligently to pass previous versions of this legislation, and we urge the new Congress to act quickly to pass this important legislation.”