Congresmman Mike Ferguson opposes abortion, but he also opposes policies and legislation that would reduce the number of abortions in the United States and abroad.
There is a bill in front of the Subcommittee on Health, where Ferguson is co-chair, that would increase funding and availability of contraceptives and family planning education for poor women. This, in turn, would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and result in a dramatically lower number of abortions. The Bush administration estimates that there are 3 million unwanted pregnancies a year, with 50 percent ending in abortions.
Now new evidence from the Bush administration demonstrates that the number of unwanted pregnancies among poor women is skyrocketing under Republican “pro-life” policies, resulting in even more abortions.
Poor women in America are increasingly likely to have unwanted pregnancies, whereas relatively affluent women are succeeding more and more in getting pregnant only when they want to, according to a study analyzing federal statistics.
As a result of the growing disparity, women living in poverty are now almost four times more likely to become pregnant unintentionally than women of greater means, the study found.
Based on nationwide data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics and other sources, the researchers found that from 1994 through 2001, the rate of unplanned pregnancies increased by almost 30 percent for women below the federal poverty line — now defined as $16,000 annually for a family of three. For women in families comfortably above poverty, the rate of unplanned pregnancies fell by 20 percent during the same period.
The abortion rate also rose among poor women while declining among the more affluent.
The Republican took over the House and Senate in 1994, and the White House in 2001. During that time they have radically reduced access to family planning and contraception, choosing to focus only on abstinence education to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence education has a place, since teenagers are often not ready for the emotional or other costs of sex and pregnancies, but only when it is coupled with realistic prevention messages, as well.
Congressman Ferguson is one of the most absolutist opponents of contraception, family planning and abortion. He is so radical that his own colleagues call him “Mr. Embryo“, and that radical position is hurting poor women. Unwanted pregnancies create financial burdens, empotional stress, hurt families, and end in abortion as often as they result in children.