Support common-sense reproductive health care
Each year, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii provides more than 7,500 women, men and teenagers with reproductive health care. Our three health centers provide more than one-third of the publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in Hawaii for low-income women and teens.
We know better than any other organization that the way to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion is by increasing access to real sexuality education and birth control.
That's why we are urging our opponents and supporters alike to help pass important prevention legislation in Hawaii and nationwide.
These preventive measures include:
» House Bill 464 provides for comprehensive, medically accurate sex education programs that teach young people about abstinence, health and contraceptives.
» House Bill 455/Senate Bill 1111 provides state funding, which was eliminated in 1990, for family planning, contraception services and increased reproductive health educators to teach our youth.
» House Bill 466 requires that hospital emergency rooms provide victims of sexual assault with information and access to emergency contraception.
» House Bill 590 requires coverage for human papillomavirus (HPV) immunizations for females between the ages of 11 and 26 for insured and low-income individuals.
Nationally, the Prevention First Act, introduced in Congress by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and co-sponsored by Hawaii's Sen. Dan Akaka and Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono will expand access to birth control and family planning services, ensure equity for prescription coverage of contraceptives, increase access to and awareness of emergency contraception and provide teens with medically accurate sex education.
These are common-sense prevention measures that will reduce unintended pregnancy and can be supported by everyone.
Barry Raff is chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Hawaii.