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Utah gets a D grade on reproductive health

Published October 25, 2012 1:19 pm

Health • Nonprofit gave grades of B- or higher to only 12 states.
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A new report card on reproductive health gives Utah poor marks for its pregnancy prevention efforts, affordability and access to family planning services and abortion — but full points for effectiveness.

The Population Institute, an international nonprofit that promotes family planning, gave Utah an overall grade of D and the nation a C-. California, Oregon and Washington received the only A grades. Points were broken down into these categories:

Effectiveness: Utah's teen pregnancies, and unintended pregnancies for all women, are already below the rates set as federal goals, the institute said.

Prevention: Utah mandates sex education — a requirement some lawmakers tried to change earlier this year — and HIV education. But it uses an abstinence-only model, an approach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is less effective. The nonprofit gave Utah mixed marks for access to emergency contraception.

Affordability: Utah's Medicaid program hasn't expanded to cover family planning, and the state does not require insurers to cover contraception. Utah spent $323,000 in fiscal 2010 on family planning clinics that serve low-income households — 57 cents per woman of reproductive age.

Access: Utah's restrictions on abortions include mandatory counseling and waiting periods. It does not have a law protecting access to family planning clinics.

See the group's national and state report cards here. And below, recent coverage by The Salt Lake Tribune on related topics:

One-fourth of Utah teen moms thought they or partner were sterile

Guv signs bill requiring 72-hour wait for abortions

In Utah, talks about what's appropriate in sex ed likely to continue

Utah-based studies promote family planning, the natural way

Sex and chocolate: Utah kids know a lot about one, not the other




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