Download the paper by Ellen Chesler and Andrea Flynn.
- Family planning is a fundamental right of women and the foundation of human security.
- Single women in poverty head a growing percentage of U. S. households. Addressing their needs requires multiple policy interventions, but none can work if women are denied the agency to make – and act on – well-informed reproductive health decisions.
- U.S. subsidized family planning programs meet only 54 percent of national need. The ACA will help bridge the gap, although its promise is threatened by legal challenges to the contraceptive mandate. Women deserve insurance coverage for the contraceptive method of their choice, without qualification.
- Many low-income women will fall through insurance gaps. Every state should expand Medicaid. The federal government should lift Medicaid’s five-year eligibility requirement for documented immigrants and increase Title X funding to address increased demand for services.
- We can learn from history. Research since the 1970 adoption of Title X illustrates that access to improved family planning methods promotes responsible decision-making and reduces unwanted pregnancy and abortion. By contrast, abstinence-until marriage and marriage promotion programs advanced by conservatives have failed and been discredited.
Read "Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Expanding Access to Family Planning," by Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Ellen Chesler and Fellow Andrea Flynn.