In a Feb. 2 guest column, George Hill stated that “Women living under 200 percent of the poverty level (about $39,000 for a family of three) are five times more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy than women with higher incomes. The biggest reason for this is lack of access to quality family planning.”

Low cost contraception is widely available in 30 family planning clinics, private health care offices and at pharmacies and grocery stores. Further, his claim that the family-planning option of Medicaid expansion would save millions of dollars in costs for those unintended babies with benefits magnified for future generations, is simply a tall tale. Rather, Family Planning knows that an early investment in the Affordable Care Act will pay large dividends in the long run as it creates a whole new pool of subsidized clients.

Referring to Plan B, an “emergency contraceptive,” Kirsten Moore, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Technologies Project told the National Press Club in 2005 that two separate studies show that access to emergency contraception like Plan B has not reduced unwanted pregnancies or abortions: “the experts had estimated that we would see a drop by up to half in the rates of unintended pregnancy and the rates of abortion. And, in fact, in the real world, we’re not seeing that.”

In Maine, about 33 percent of births are out of wedlock. Those women are raising their children, many in poverty, not because they lack access to quality family planning. Many of those women chose to become sexually active before finishing their education/training, with partners who are not stable, committed or ready to engage in a responsible relationship to love and care for their children.

Investment in promoting personal responsibility, forming stable relationships, education/training and employment for moms and dads would far exceed the results of increased funding for family planning.

Their contraception and abortion products only facilitate the exploitation of women and the elimination of their unintended children.

Margaret Yates RN, MA, Wilton

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