An analysis of Population Institute’s abortion and reproductive health report card


This year, the pro-abortion Population Institute released a report titled  “Not Making the Grade: A 50 State Report Card.” The report card analyzed the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia to inform Americans about “the status of reproductive health and rights in their own state.”

According to an overview of the report card, the overall national grade was a C, compared to last year’s C-. This improvement was attributed to a drop in teen pregnancy rates and the expansion of contraception coverage.

A plurality of the states—15 of them—received an F or F- grade. Twelve states received a B, B- grade; ten received a C, C- grade, while nine states received a grade in the D range. Only four states received an A grade.

The institute considered a state’s “Effectiveness,” which included teen pregnancy and unintended pregnancy rates. “Prevention” included sex education and emergency contraception accessibility. “Affordability” was based on Medicaid and Medicaid family planning expansions, as well as “funding for family planning clinics.” “Accessibility” relates to laws restricting abortions and abortion access, with the percentage of how many women do not have abortion facilities in their county.

The four states that received a grade in the A range included California (A), New Mexico (A), Oregon (A) and Washington state (A). These grades are fairly consistent with the Americans United for Life’s state rankings for 2015, which ranked CA, OR, and WA in the top 10 worst states for life.

What these four states have in common is that they have little to no abortion restrictions, which the Population Institute describes as “unnecessarily difficult for a woman to have an abortion if she chooses to do so.”

Some of the F and F- selections are also curious. For instance, Tennessee has an F rating, with a 5/10 rating on accessibility.  Yet it seems like Tennessee’s rating may only get worse. For up until the November 2014 election, with the passage of Amendment One, the state had had a difficult time passing abortion restrictions as a result of the 2000 ruling from the state Supreme Court. Now, the state is on its way to passing even more pro-life bills. Virginia also received an F rating, even after electing pro-abortion Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2013, who has sought to roll back previous pro-life gains.

It is interesting that no state received an A+ rating, even though the Population Institute does list the grade as an option. What would it take for a state to earn an A+? Perhaps completely free abortion-on-demand, during any point in pregnancy, paid for with taxpayer dollars. While it is tragic that we have any states earning an A rating, let us be thankful where we can. And, with the passage of 51 pro-life laws this year, it’s possible the Population Institute will have even more to be angry about for the next report card.

The rankings of the states include:

A states: California, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington state

B+ states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire

B states: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

C states: Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin

D+ states: Pennsylvania

D states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Montana, Utah

D- states: Georgia

F states: Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming

F- states: Alabama, Texas

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