TALLAHASSEE, FL --January 30,2012
A new study released by the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates reveals that Florida women’s health is at serious risk. Nearly two million women across the state do not have health insurance. Almost a third of the people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are women – and the state has the second highest number of women and girls living with AIDS in the entire country. Florida also has nearly a quarter-of-a-million unintended pregnancies each year. Released the day before the Florida House is scheduled to hear bills in the Civil Justice Subcommittee that will endanger women’s health, the “Women’s Health at Risk” report highlights the misplaced priorities of some elected officials.
“Women and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the health care crisis in our state,” said Judith Selzer, vice president for public policy of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “With women’s health at risk, our legislators should be working with Planned Parenthood to expand access to preventative health care including lifesaving cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, birth control and sex education to help reduce unintended pregnancies and improve women’s health. Women will pay the price when they cannot access the medical care they need because Florida legislators played a reckless game of politics with women’s health.”
This bleak prognosis for Florida women’s health outlined in the report has a negative economic impact as well. The cost to the public for births resulting from unintended pregnancies is estimated at more than $640 million. Businesses and the economy also suffer when employees are unable to work due to illness. The human cost of this health care crisis – the untold pain and suffering of women and their families – cannot be quantified in dollars and cents.
During a time when Florida women’s health is at risk, the Legislature is trying to limit women’s access to reproductive health care. Currently, there are 10 bills attacking women’s reproductive health and rights – bills that will further restrict women’s access to health care.
To read the full report including health information for each county in Florida and to learn more about the 10 bills endangering women’s health during the 2012 legislative session visit www.FloridaPlannedParenthood.com.