NCJW Urges Support of Prevention First Act

January 13, 2009, Washington, DC -- The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today renewed its support for the Prevention First Act which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) re-introduced. The act is designed to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the US by increasing access to contraceptive services and medically accurate information about sexual health. NCJW President Nancy Ratzan released the following statement:

"The Prevention First Act is urgently needed to ensure that all women have access to family planning services and to accurate information about their sexual health. The ability to plan pregnancies has been a crucial tool in improving maternal and infant health, and has given women the ability to control their own fertility and therefore their own lives in accordance with their personal religious and ethical beliefs. The federal government has long recognized the need for a federal role funding contraceptive services, but that role has weakened in recent years.

"Among other things, the Prevention First Act would significantly increase family planning funding; mandate equitable insurance coverage for contraception; ensure that rape victims have access to emergency contraception; and promote comprehensive sex education programs. This agenda is the basis for Plan A: NCJW’s Campaign for Contraceptive Access, a community-based initiative working to secure and protect women’s access to contraceptive options and information. 

"In 2000 the US government set a goal of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies by 40 percent by 2010. If this goal is to be met, the nation will have to redouble its efforts in this arena. NCJW has worked diligently to pass previous versions of this legislation, and we urge the new Congress to act quickly to pass this important legislation."

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Emily Alfano
202 296 2588 x5;

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