Letter: Prevention a more common-sense approach

Monday, April 28, 2008 | 2:59 p.m. CDT; updated 3:27 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I am outraged to see that Missouri legislators have once again spent their time and energy on passing more needless barriers to women’s abortion care rather than focusing on the only proven way of decreasing abortions: Prevention!

I don’t think anyone in this state wants to see abortions become more dangerous and inaccessible to women, but that’s what HB1831 has done. This anti-abortion bill passed out of the House of Representatives on Monday. The mandatory delays in the bill, termed by supporters as a “reflection period,” will only push women further into their pregnancy and make the procedure more dangerous and expensive. If we want fewer abortions in our state, we need to start talking about prevention. Access to family planning services, contraceptives and education are essential in the fight to prevent unplanned pregnancies. And yet the legislature has not only ignored these key components of prevention, it continues to promote the Alternatives to Abortion program, which forbids funding for any kind of family planning, including contraception.

Isn’t it funny that the very people who talk about how they want to decrease abortion in our state are the same ones who refuse to recognize the importance of contraception and comprehensive sex education in preventing the unplanned pregnancies that they so enjoy regulating? It’s time to stop buying into the rhetoric and start looking at serious, common-sense approaches to decreasing abortions. It’s time to focus on prevention!

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