Letter to the Editor

Access to contraception

Friday, June 7 marks the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, granting the right of privacy to married couples to use contraception. For over 50 years, birth control's impact has been felt in nearly every sociological sector, from the economy to education.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 99% of women aged 15-44 have used at least one contraceptive method in their lifetime. Promotion of family planning -- and ensuring access to all contraceptive methods -- is essential to supporting the health and development of families and communities. However, more than 300,000 Missourians are in need of publicly funded family planning services, like the kind found at the 70 Title X (ten) family planning clinics across Missouri. Protecting access to reproductive health services for our most vulnerable Missourians should be at the top of policymakers' agendas, not limiting those services or their providers. At a time when our state is making national headlines for its priorities in reproductive health, our dialogue can no longer ignore the intricate connection between access to family planning services, educational attainment, and the opportunities available to upcoming generations.

In the end, we need to increase access to contraception and work to reduce the disparities our citizens face.