Reviews | Iowa must invest in sexual and reproductive health care
As National HIV Testing Day approaches, it’s important that Iowa invest in sexual and reproductive health care.
As National HIV Testing Day approaches, Iowa needs to invest in reproductive and sexual health care for Iowans. Over time, the Iowa government has infringed on the reproductive rights of its citizens. It started with $$ 3 million cuts to funding for Planned Parenthoods; and now the rollout of anti-abortion laws.
Although reproductive health clinics tend to come under attack for providing abortion services, their work does much more than that. Education, birth control, and testing for STDs are an important part of the attention of reproductive health clinics.
There are a number of health issues that suffer from lack of access to reproductive health care.
Accessibility to prenatal Pregnancy care and education are essential to reduce the great disparity between the infant mortality rate of blacks and whites in Iowa. In Iowa, there are large disparities in infant mortality rates between white and black populations. the Child mortality rate for white Iowans it’s 4.9%, and for black Iowans it’s more than double to 11.4%.
Additionally, the demand for abortions in Iowa is greater than the supply. After cuts in funding for family planning, abortions increased by 25 percent. Yet according to the most recent The data, there are only 9 facilities in Iowa that offer abortions. This is a marked decrease from the 13 there were in 2014.
While there is a clear need for abortion resources, the majority of Iowa residents do not have access to them. Removing Iowa’s access to safe abortion services and reproductive health care options does not decrease the need for those services, but it does reduce the availability of a safe abortion.
This is incredibly disturbing given that unsafe abortions are the third cause of maternal deaths around the world.
Sexual health is also extremely important, which is why supporting clinics like the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City is essential. the Emma Goldman Clinic offers a wide range of services to the community.
Executive Director Francine Thompson said the Emma Goldman Clinic was a pioneer in the Iowa City community, one of the first outpatient clinics in Iowa to offer HIV testing. Although they offer testing services, they have less access to Prep and Pep, a medicine that helps prevent people at high risk from contracting HIV.
“The Emma Goldman offers a full range of comprehensive reproductive and wellness services, including first trimester and second trimester abortion. We provide contraceptive care, sports wellness and physical exams, STI testing and treatment, and some routine wellness screenings, ”said Thompson.
Government cuts to family planning and abortions are incredibly dangerous for clinics like the Emma Goldman Clinic that work hard to serve the community on a wide range of reproductive and sexual health services.
With all the changes in funding and laws regarding reproductive health care, studies have shown 33% of Iowan’s pregnancies are wanted later or unwanted. These data correspond to decrease in people using female contraceptives due to decreased access.
Previous cuts to Planned Parenthoods funding and continued threats to abortion rights in Iowa do not correlate with better health outcomes. Instead, they deny the Iowans their right to make informed decisions about their bodies and well-being.
“People deserve quality, comprehensive, accessible and safe reproductive health care”,
said Thurman. “Individuals are able to make decisions about their families without interference from politicians. “
Columns reflect the views of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.