Emergency Contraception Not Broadly Obtainable for Texas’ Poorest

Gov. Greg Abbott said rape victims can take Plan B. But emergency contraception isn’t widely available to the state’s poorest people.was first revealed by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media group that educates — and engages with — Texans about public coverage, politics, authorities and points on the earth. statewide.

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On Friday, the governor Greg Abbott advised the Dallas Morning Information that rape victims can take emergency contraception, like Plan B, to forestall being pregnant. Since abortion is now prohibited in Texas, even in circumstances of incest or rape, the governor has really useful using emergency contraception to make sure that a rape sufferer doesn’t turn into pregnant.

However for low-income folks in Texas, emergency contraception is not broadly obtainable, advocates stated — a consequence of the big variety of folks of childbearing age who’re uninsured and an absence of well being care applications. state that present entry to therapy like Plan B.

Throughout a pre-recorded section of Lone Star Politics, Abbott said victims of rape, “By accessing well being care instantly, they will get the Plan B tablet that may stop a being pregnant from taking place within the first place. So far as reporting to regulation enforcement, this may make sure that the rapist will probably be arrested and prosecuted.

Emergency contraception works primarily by stopping fertilization. The therapy can stop an individual from getting pregnant if taken as much as 5 days after intercourse, with various effectiveness.

In rape circumstances, Abbott stated, “We need to help these victims, however these victims also can instantly entry well being care, in addition to report it.”

After signing Senate Invoice 8 final September, which banned abortions after about six weeks of being pregnant and made no exceptions for rape or incest, Abbott said the state’s purpose was to eradicate rape.

When requested how the state plans to supply emergency contraception to low-income Texans, Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze stated, “We urge any rape sufferer to hunt medical assist. instantly. Medical care obtainable in hospitals and emergency rooms consists of entry to Plan B medicine that may stop being pregnant.

Some studies prompt that emergency contraception containing levonorgestrel, comparable to Plan B, could also be much less efficient for folks weighing greater than 170 kilos, which is the average female weight greater than 20 years within the nation.

In 2020, Texas ranked 16th in the nation for the overall variety of circumstances of pressured rape per capita.

Emilee Whitehurst, CEO of the Houston Space Girls’s Heart, stated a big variety of rapes go unreported and the precise variety of victims is bigger than these in search of therapy in a hospital.

Whitehurst added that emergency contraception is on no account an alternative to entry to abortion, however these liable for the Texas abortion ban left victims of sexual assault with few choices. She stated it was insulting to listen to that Plan B needed to be relied upon to forestall pregnancies given the hazards victims of sexual assault already face.

“To imagine that Plan B could possibly be an alternative to abortion care represents a basic misunderstanding of the truth of ladies’s lives and our biology,” Whitehurst stated.

Though emergency contraception is out there for buy over-the-counter, it could price $50 on the pharmacy. Some insurance coverage cowl the price of emergency contraception, however those that are uninsured should pay for this extra expense.

For girls of childbearing age in Texas, more than a quarter had no health insurance in 2017 — the highest rate in the country. That is due, partially, to the truth that Texas has not expanded Medicaid and has one of many lowest eligibility requirements within the nation. A single guardian with three kids would want to earn lower than $400 a month to get Medicaid.

Along with the shortage of protection, state applications that concentrate on girls’s well being care don’t present emergency contraception. Neither the household planning program nor the Texas Healthy Women’s Program present emergency contraception.

Title X clinics stay one of many few options low-income folks to entry emergency contraception at an reasonably priced price. Nevertheless, these federally funded reproductive well being clinics don’t function in all communities within the state.

Whitehurst stated assured entry to emergency contraception is “fairy story pondering”. She stated younger victims of sexual assault, particularly, will discover it troublesome to entry this type of contraception.

“It isn’t available, it isn’t simply reasonably priced, and it is an untenable answer to the horrible state of affairs girls now discover themselves in with out entry to abortion,” Whitehurst stated.

Within the case of rape victims, the instant want to hunt emergency contraception compounds the trauma a survivor already faces, stated Chau Nguyen, trauma therapist at JEM Wellness & Counseling in Houston. Nguyen stated in an announcement to the Texas Tribune that low-income Texans and ladies of colour already face limitations to accessing well being care, which incorporates emergency contraception.

“The unhappy reality is that girls will select to place meals on the desk to feed their kids slightly than their very own well being care. And that may drastically endanger their very own lives,” Nguyen stated.

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This text initially appeared in The Texas Grandstand at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09/03/emergency-contraception-access-rape-victim-abbott/.

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