Senate Democrats

Reid and Clinton Detail Prevention First Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC – Recognizing that there are commonsense goals on which all Americans can agree, Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) today urged colleagues from both sides of the aisle to support the Clinton/Reid Prevention First amendment to the budget resolution. The amendment seeks to improve women’s health, reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies and prevent abortions.

“We can find not only common ground, but common sense in the Prevention First amendment we are offering today” said Reid. “Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, our amendment advances goals we should all share: reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, reducing the number of abortions and improving access to women’s health care.”

“This amendment takes a common sense step towards strengthening access to contraception for women while also reducing healthcare costs borne by taxpayers and employers,” said Senator Clinton. “We should all be able to agree that reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and improving access to women’s health care should be a priority.”

Every dollar spent on family planning services saves three dollars in pregnancy and birth-related costs for Medicaid alone. And although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included family planning in its published list of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century, the U.S. still has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among industrialized nations.

The Reid/Clinton amendment would provide $100 million to: increase Title X, the nation’s only program devoted solely to making family planning services available to all women; reducing teen pregnancy; providing equitable insurance coverage for contraception; and increasing awareness about Emergency Contraception.

The Clinton/Reid amendment will also save scarce public health dollars by: reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, reducing the rate of sexually transmitted disease, reducing the costs to the Medicaid program, and providing for the early detection of HIV, breast cancer and cervical cancer.

“This amendment sends a strong statement that we think contraception should be available to women who need it so that abortion will become safe, legal, and rare,” said Clinton.

On January 24, 2005, Senators Reid and Clinton introduced S. 20, the Prevention First Act, which is a comprehensive bill aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies, preventing abortions and improving women’s health.