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The Lancet Calls for State Improvements in Reproductive Health

January 17, 2014

Citing the Population Institute’s just released 50-state report card on reproductive health and rights, The Lancet yesterday published an editorial urging state policymakers to expand Medicaid eligibility for reproductive health services and make comprehensive sex education available to all young people. The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals.

In its editorial, the journal referenced the failing grades received by many states and the “C-“ that the Population Institute awarded the US as a whole.  The editorial described the 50-state report card as “intriguing and disturbing reading” and recommended that state policymakers take corrective action:

Every woman in the USA should be able to access affordable reproductive health care irrespective of economic and social status. Moreover, comprehensive sex education services should be available for young people in school regardless of where they live. All US states should consider expanding Medicaid eligibility and reducing the cost of accessing contraceptive services to reduce such glaring inequalities in reproductive health.

The journal’s editorial, in particular, deplored the escalating restrictions on family planning clinics providing abortion services, and suggested that US policymakers could learn from Norway’s example, which has excellent reproductive health indicators and taxpayer-funded reproductive health services.

Jennie Wetter, the Population Institute's director of public policy, said, "The Lancet is a highly-respected and widely-cited medical journal. State policymakers should take notice."

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