As followers of Christ, we have an opportunity to use the power of advocacy to call for a faithful budget – one that protects and defends the vulnerable. The proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year includes deep cuts to Medicaid by effectively eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion. These cuts would have dangerous consequences for millions of of people, especially the nearly 40 million women who rely on Medicaid coverage.
Women would be disproportionately affected because they make up the majority – or 53% – of Medicaid beneficiaries. They’re also the primary users of family planning and maternity care benefits. Nearly all women use some form of family planning during their reproductive years and Medicaid finances 75% of all publicly funded family planning services. Since almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and unintended pregnancies are associated with negative health and economic outcomes for families, family planning services are essential.
Through the Medicaid expansion, many women maintain primary care and family planning services before and after pregnancy – allowing them to avoid unintended pregnancy and have greater access to services that make bringing a baby into the world less daunting.
Recently in the United States, we’ve experienced a decline in abortions. In the early 1990s, there were about 45 abortions for every 1,000 women of reproductive age. Now, we’re seeing about 27. A recent study by Lancet has found that this has a lot to do with increased access to contraceptives and family planning services.
Every human life, no matter how small, is made in the image of God and we are called to protect and defend the most vulnerable among us. There are many creative ways to work toward ending abortion and advocating for adequate funding for Medicaid is one of them.
Will you join us in speaking up for a faithful budget?
Contact your member of Congress today urging them to create a budget that protects and defends the vulnerable.