The Prevention First Act was introduced yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Rules Committee Chair Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO). The Prevention First Act, which addresses numerous family planning issues, has been repeatedly introduced in previous legislative sessions.
The Act aims to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies by increasing funding for Title X, expanding Medicaid family planning services, ending insurance discrimination against women, improving awareness of emergency contraception, providing compassionate assistance for victims of rape, reducing teen pregnancy rates, and ensuring that Federal programs provide medically accurate information.
In a press release, Congresswoman Slaughter said "If we want to reduce the number of abortions in this country, the methodology is clear – empower women to prevent unintended pregnancies through education and access to contraception….For every dollar spent on family planning services, it is estimated that almost four dollars is saved in public health spending. This comprehensive approach to protecting women's reproductive health will not only decrease the spread of STDs and reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, but save money." Majority Leader Reid said that "it is time to come together and enact effective policies that will help to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to health care for women. We can find not only common ground, but also common sense in our Prevention First Act."
Media Resources: Reid, Slaughter, Degette Press Release 1/13/09