Skip to main content

Among Missouri Republicans, ideology has long trumped fact-based research, and this time women and girls are the collateral damage.

Last month, Missouri’s Republican led legislature passed legislation that allows employers to dictate whether women can receive contraceptive coverage through their insurance companies. The legislation was vetoed, but the Republicans in the legislature successfully led an effort to over-ride the veto anyway.

Democratic lawmakers were incensed.

"Birth control is basic health care and is an economic issue for Missouri women and families," said Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur. "To make a woman pay for birth control on top of premium payments has real economic consequences."

But now science shows Rep. Schupp is right. In a study to be published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers "recruited more than 9,250 women ages fourteen to forty-five from St. Louis city and county for the five-year project" and educated them on different types of birth control. Seventy-five percent of the women chose implantable methods.

Five years later, the women included in the study had had nearly five times fewer abortions than the national average would have predicted, and and the rate of teenage pregnancies fell by an astounding 82%.

If Republicans get out of the way of public health and allow free contraception to be implemented nationwide, researchers concluded free birth control could prevent over a million unplanned pregnancies and over 800,000 abortions a year.

But Republicans would simply block this type of contraception coverage, with Republican led legislatures across the country working to criminalize common forms of birth control and threatening women's jobs if they seek out contraception on their own dime. And just this week, Virginia Republicans have indicated that the GOP's nationwide assault on contraception coverage will continue after the election.

Most importantly, the St. Louis study could mark an important turning point in the national debate over women's health.  For the first time, Republican bills to block contraception coverage can be accurately described the way they should have been all along: "pro-abortion."

We have an opportunity to reduce the number of abortions and teenage pregnancies in the United States, but Republicans are letting rhetoric trump research and facts.

Get the latest 411 on state legislatures: Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site