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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.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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