In 1994, 179 countries met in Cairo for the International Conference on Population and Development and affirmed that reproductive health care access not only empowers women; it is a critical part of creating a sustainable world.
It is shocking to me that 15 years later, House members in Washington state failed to step up and protect funding for this basic health care for women. The House budget released last week slashes funding for family planning, thus eliminating access for over 20,000 low-income Washingtonians to these basic health care services.
Washington simply cannot afford to end access to these services. The math is easy. Our state saves over $4 for every $1 invested in family planning by reducing state-funded unintended pregnancy care costs. Looking beyond the numbers, this funding also allows women educational and economic opportunities by giving them the tools and resources they need to plan and space pregnancies.
Here in the 21st century, in the United States, it is astounding our elected officials still haven’t learned the value of family planning. If you care about a sustainable future, please ask your legislators to maintain family planning funding.