Summary of Concerns
SB 5912: Increasing eligibility for Take Charge to 250% of federal poverty level.
- Unintended pregnancies are NOT due to lack of access to contraception: There is no evidence that the current pregnancy rates are due to lack of access to contraception. Conversely, there is a great deal of evidence that there is already virtually universal access to contraceptives.
- Increased contraception use linked to higher pregnancy and STD rates: Access to contraception does not necessary reduce pregnancy rates. Recent studies have found that it actually has led to increased pregnancy rates, as well as STD infections, because those on contraceptives are more likely to engage in risky behavior.
- Funding Take Charge does not save money: The Take Charge Program has not managed to reduce state costs for live births in the last 10 years. In fact, under Take Charge, the state's costs for live births have increased more than 70%. Therefore, the assumption that an increase in spending for Take Charge can be calculated as a decrease in the state's budget is erroneous.
- Take Charge forces those who do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood to fund it: Take Charge primarily funds Planned Parenthood, a non-profit that millions of Washingtonians would not choose to support with their charitable giving. It is not appropriate to channel more than $20 million to an organization much of the public is morally or philosophically opposed to when so many uncontroversial expenditures are being cut or eliminated.