Bill to Protect Birth Control Access; Pregnancy Protections for Athletes; Racial Disparities in Maternal Health Outcomes
In Nyssa's weekly 'Need to Know' series, we recap the three most important stories related to reproductive health, sex education, and bodily autonomy.
On Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers reintroduced the Access to Birth Control Act, which would guarantee birth control access at pharmacies across the U.S. The bill was introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Robin Kelly, and Rep. Katie Porter.
The bill states nearly half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended and due to the ongoing pandemic, one-third of women have experienced a delay in accessing their contraception.
And yet, according to the National Women’s Law Center, pharmacists in 24 states and the District of Columbia have refused to fill birth control prescriptions or dispense emergency contraceptives.
Heralded by Olympic athlete Alysia Montaño and & Mother, a non-profit the organization she co-founded with Molly Dicken and Oiselle, a women’s apparel company, there’s a growing movement in sports to create protections around pregnancy, postpartum and parental leave.
In the article, The 19th journalist Barbara Rodriguez tells the story of Montaño’s sponsor declining to renew her contract after she shared her intention of getting pregnant and how that experience underscored the importance of ending the notion in professional sports that pregnancy is something that weakens an athlete’s ability to perform.
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Dr. Sema Sgaier, co-founder and CEO of Surgo Ventures, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving health and social problems, and her associate Jordan Downey present their reasoning for the country’s dire maternal health outcomes.
Primary among the causes are racial disparities that exist in and outside of the healthcare system including inequities in housing, transportation and access to education.
The article includes interactive graphics leveraging Surgo’s data to calculate a person’s risk for poor maternal health outcomes based on county-level information including poverty levels and access to OB-GYNS and midwives, among other factors.