Senator Boxer: Prevention First
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I am pleased to let you know about an important bill that I am supporting and am proud to cosponsor. The Prevention First Act, S.21, sets a clear goal of preventing unintended pregnancies and the health risks associated with them.
The Prevention First Act is a comprehensive bill that covers access to emergency contraception, compassionate assistance for rape survivors, programs to reduce teen pregnancies with better information and education programs, the expansion of family planning services, and programs to reduce sexually transmitted diseases.
This bill would help to reduce the 3 million unintended pregnancies that occur each year in America, many to teenagers who are least prepared to bear and raise a healthy child.
It also addresses the fact that the United States has the highest rate of infection with sexually transmitted diseases of any industrialized country in the world, leaving too many people at risk of long-term harm. We should all find it unacceptable that 50 young people a day are infected with HIV in our country. We can and must do better.
One hoped-for outcome of this legislation is a better life with improved life chances for our children. Unintended pregnancies too often result in low birth weight babies and a higher incidence of infant mortality. Other problems of unintended pregnancies are also noted by researchers that are addressed by this legislation.
The Prevention First Act represents a huge opportunity to improve the lives of our young people, both as they become sexually active and in the opportunities they have to be born into and raised by families who love and can care for them. I am very pleased to be an original cosponsor of this legislation and will work to ensure its passage.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer