The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine has issued a statement indicating the consequences on America’s youth and around the world could be dire if the proposals being considered by lawmakers and federal agencies limiting access to contraceptive services came to fruition.
“Over the past several months, the Trump administration and House of Representatives have taken a number of actions that would limit access to these essential services, including passage of the American Health Care Act, expansion of conscientious objections to contraceptive coverage for employers and the elimination of funding for the United Nations Population Fund,” the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) wrote in a statement.
“Also concerning are the Senate’s just released Better Care Reconciliation Act and recent reports that the administration is considering further executive actions which would curtail mandatory coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives as currently guaranteed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
According to the statement, although the United States has seen historic declines in adolescent pregnancy, passing any one of these proposals would be “harmful to America’s youth,” cause strain on the country’s financial resources and make the number of unintended pregnancies increase. The impact of repealing these policies would be felt around the country and the world, the SAHM noted.
“Despite historic declines, the U.S. still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world. Teen pregnancy in the U.S. is associated with significant public costs of over $9 billion per year and teen parents and their children have poor medical, social and financial outcomes. Additionally, nearly 50% of all pregnancies among U.S. women are unplanned with rates higher among historically disadvantaged, poor and rural communities,” the SAHM wrote. “[In addition], cuts to U.S. funding of international family planning programs will result in more unplanned pregnancies and induced abortions around the globe.”
SAHM implored the U.S. Senate to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act and maintain the essential health benefits and access to insurance coverage currently provided by the Medicaid program and the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and to reject the contraceptive coverage mandate.
According to the statement, groups such as AAP, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and WHO also recommend unhindered access to contraceptive services for adolescents.
Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine the Society’s relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.