With the increase in the global population, many countries are investing heavily in family planning to be able to have the society that is manageable. Many economic experts argue that a country with the more substantial population can develop as high population can translate to markets and labor force. Nonetheless, this is not the case today. Many states are advocating for family planning to ensure that every person has the number of children that they can be able to support both economically and socially (Alexander).
Public funding for family planning was inspired by the need to control the issue of unintended pregnancies that was associated with reduced neonatal and maternal outcome, reduction in the use of prenatal care and lower breastfeeding rates (Trussell and Lalla). Family planning was also seen as an essential tool that could be used in saving cost. Additionally, the American constitution allows the Americans to choose the number of children they want to get and when to get them. Lastly, public funding of family planning was also driven by the fact that women needed to achieve their career and educational goals thus they should be relieved of the burden incurred by giving birth to many children or giving birth at the unexpected time.
Even though the move has registered some positive effects, there has been an erosion in the political funding and support for the program in most of the State and Texas has been seen as the most affected state. There was a recent opposition to the proposal to expand the accessibility of contraception through the affordable care (Trussell and Lalla). Many countries questioned the role that the federal government was going to play in the implementation of the program.
Texas state passed one of the most controversial motions in parliament that led to the reduction of the funding to the family planning program by two thirds. This enactment led to the decrease in the funding in 2011 from $111 million to $37.9 million for the two periods (Cleland and Peipert). This enactment received criticisms from many people who saw it as a move to take away the gains that had been achieved in the health sector through family planning. Texas went ahead to propose that the remaining amount of funding would be allocated based on the priority settings of every healthcare unit in the state. The enactment also led to the reduction in the number of the organizations that were providing family planning services from76 to 41, a move which was implemented by the Texas Department of Stae Health Services (Cleland and Peipert). To continue with the step which was termed radical and viewed as a way of cracking the whip on family planning funding, Texas ensured that those large organizations that were in charge of offering family planning services lost their funding by close to 75%.
Despite facing severe challenges such as a large number of undocumented migrants, the high birth rate among teenagers and being with the second largest number of Medicaid births, Texas still went ahead with the implementation of the enactment which reduced the funding of family planning services .
The federal government has however maintained that the policy regarding the funding of family planning should be followed by all state to achieve the objectives and goals of the health sector. The federal government maintains that all states must provide quality health care which is affordable and accessible to all the citizens. On the women's rights and funding of family planning which was enacted by Texas, the federal government moved to United States Court of Appeal. The court ordered the policy to be vacated even though it was to be in place due to the pending the hearing on the petition for the rehearing of the case that was filed by Texas state (Cleland and Peipert). Cutting the funding of family planning, Texas was infringing on the rights of the women especially the right to health care.
Women have the right to choose the number of children they want to get and when they want to get them. There are several cases where women have been subjected to frustrations resulting from carrying unwanted pregnancies that might have resulted from incidents like raping. Women also have the right to choose the kind of family planning to use whether natural or scientific. All these rights are protected by the rules and regulations of the federal government hence any state that is trying to come up with policies that might infringe on such rights directly engages into conflict with the federal government.
The policy enacted by the Texas state that reduced the public funding of family planning services should be changed as it will negatively affect the larger population of Texas especially the women. Majority of the women in Texas need a publicly funded family planning services due to economic reasons. Many of the women have the low income that cannot enable them to acquire family planning services that are offered privately. Majority of those in need of family planning services are also teenager as Texas has been reporting higher cases of teenage pregnancies (Potter). These teenagers are either self-employed with low income or are unemployed. Due to low income, therefore, the government should continue with the fundings to ensure that even the less fortunate women in the society are also given the opportunity to access family planning services.
The number of unintended pregnancies has been on the rise, and this may lead to increase in the number of street families since most women tend to abandon those children they conceived when they were not ready and prepared to have them. It is most common among teenagers or women with low income.
Texas should also realize that access to quality and affordable healthcare will directly translate to the healthy population. The healthy community also converts to a productive economy. Studies have revealed that women are becoming more productive in the economy especially those women who have been given the opportunity and enabling environment to achieve their career and educational goals.
To continue with public funding of family planning services, Texas Department of Health should reconsider their position by scrapping the enactment of the policy that reduced the federal funding. By scrapping the plan off, the state will be doing justice to those women whose accessibility to the family planning services had been affected by the enactment of that fundamental law. Therefore, it will ascertain that the state will continue receiving the funds from the federal government through Medicaid which is 90% funded by the federal government (Potter). It will also result in building the excellent relationship between Texas states and United States federal governments. Despite the advantages that will come up with the implementation of this policy, the burden of funding will be incurred by the state. Some of the reasons that were given for reducing the public funding of family planning was that it was becoming expensive for the country since the number of women who were seeking the services was increasing rapidly. The state must, therefore, come up with proper plans on how and where the funding will come from to reduce the high cost of funding the services that were being incurred before.
Another option to be considered is to come up with the policy that regulates the number of women who access the publicly funded family planning service. This is where the Texas state comes get the economic background of the whole women in the country such that they can have records of those women who are economically stable and those who are financially unstable. Then it becomes a policy that only those women with low-income access the publicly funded family planning services while those who can afford to get the family planning services privately to do so. This will help in reducing the number of beneficiaries of the publicly offered services. In this policy, the taxes paid by working class citizens should be used in funding the family planning services.
However, it is not attainable, and if attained, it will be costly since it will involve conducting demographic research to get the number of women whose income can enable them to afford family planning services at the individual level or by paying for such services at public hospitals. Additionally, very few women will be willing to give accurate reports concerning their level of income. It will be, therefore, difficult for the health providers to identify those women to receive the service freely and those who should pay for such services. This policy will also be seen as one which aims at discriminating women based on their level of income.
Another option that can be used to address the challenges posed by this policy is the creation of the awareness among women to practice natural family planning services. The state should come up with programs that aim at encouraging women to exercise natural family planning services such abstinence or carefully observing the menstrual cycle to ensure that issues of unexpected pregnancies are taken care off. Natural methods of family planning are not only safe healthwise, but they are also cost-effective since they can be practiced by all women whether economically stable or unstable (Sonfield, Alrich, and Gold). This option will also take care of cases where some women have been complaining that the scientific family planning methods were negatively affecting them. Even though this policy is cheap and can be practiced by many women at no cost, it has some disadvantages that will hinder its implementation. This option will not help in addressing the issue of unintended pregnancies especially those arising from cases such as rape. One of the main reasons why the state has been encouraging many women to go for family planning services is to deal with the issue of unintended pregnancies, and this is an issue which will be difficult to address using this policy (Wendell).
The last option to consider while changing the policy is to seek for the donor funding. Instead of reducing the public funding of family planning services that has paralyzed the program, the state should just look for willing donors to fully fund the program so that the financial burden of financing the family planning services on the country can be reduced. Many donors are eager and able to support the services so long as the state can create an enabling environment for them to operate. It will ensure that the cost is wholly or partly incurred by donors depending on the agreement between the donors and the state. It will provide efficient, effective and timely provision of family planning services to those women who are willing and ready to seek for such services (Alexander). This option like other options to has its shortcomings that must be addressed to be implemented. It is challenging to get donors who will be willing to fully finance the family planning services since it involves incurring substantial financial costs as many women seek the services on a daily basis.
The best option that should be considered while addressing the challenges brought forward by this policy is to scrap the restrictions and allow the federal government through Medicaid to fund the family planning services. It will ensure that the services are provided efficiently and efficiently without any discrimination (Alexander). Due to the significant amount of cost involved funding the services, involving federal government will guarantee the accessibility and availability of such services since taxes collected from the citizens will fund them.
In conclusion, family planning is a very sensitive topic that should be handled with great care. Women should also be supported in the society by helping them to overcome challenges they face while trying to achieve their goal...
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