SECOND REGULAR SESSION

House Concurrent Resolution No. 24

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES NEWMAN (Sponsor), McCREERY, TAYLOR, KELLY (24), MONTECILLO, NICHOLS, McNEIL, KIRKTON, MORGAN, SIFTON, PIERSON, SPRENG, WEBB, STILL, LAMPE, OXFORD, CARTER, JONES (63), SMITH (71), PACE, McCANN BEATTY, ELLINGTON, WALTON GRAY, TALBOY, RIZZO, KELLY (24), ELLINGER, McDONALD, COLONA AND ATKINS (Co-sponsors).

5409L.01I


            WHEREAS, women comprise more than half of the population of the United States of America and are solely responsible for childbearing; and


            WHEREAS, women who plan their pregnancies are more likely to seek prenatal care, improving their own health and the health of their children; and


            WHEREAS, the United States of America ranks 30th in the world in its rate of maternal mortality and has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality among all developed nations; and


            WHEREAS, family planning services improve health care outcomes and wellness for women and families, access to family planning is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality rates, and women who do not receive prenatal care are 3 to 4 times more likely to die after a live birth than are women who have received even minimal prenatal care; and


            WHEREAS, contraception enables women to better prevent unintended pregnancies and plan for pregnancy when they do want to have a child, and publicly funded contraceptive services and supplies prevent nearly two million unintended pregnancies each year in the United States; and


            WHEREAS, nearly half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion and abortion rates in the United States of America increase during times when contraception is less accessible to low-income women; and


            WHEREAS, the United States of America has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy among the world's developed nations, half of all the pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and half of unintended pregnancies occur in women who are not using contraceptives; and


            WHEREAS, in addition to the primary purpose of allowing women to plan and prepare for pregnancy, other health benefits of contraception include reduced risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers, ectopic pregnancy, iron deficiency anemia related to heavy menstruation, osteoporosis, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease; and


            WHEREAS, racial and ethnic health disparities are particularly pronounced in reproductive health - including disparities in rates of contraception usage, unintended pregnancies, maternal mortality, and sexually transmitted infections - and these disparities reveal significant barriers to access to sexual health care (including contraception), medical care, and medically accurate sexuality education; and


            WHEREAS, a majority of American voters believe that matters related to women's reproductive rights, including contraception and abortion, are personal issues that should be decided by women with their families, health care providers, and/or clergy members:


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby recognize the week of January 22-28, 2012, as "Reproductive Rights Awareness Week" in Missouri and encourage our citizens to participate in activities to increase public awareness, initiate conversation, and support the reproductive rights and justice nationwide.