After escorting this morning, many of us are headed to Frankfort to rally on the Capitol steps to tell our elected officials that Kentucky families deserve better! If you can’t join us, you can keep up with all the info by following the Kentucky Road Rally for Reproductive Rights’ Twitter feed, @kyroadrally, and by clicking “Like” on the Facebook page.
We are rallying in support of four reproductive rights issues:
- Comprehensive sex education;
- Affordable and accessible contraceptives;
- Access to abortion; and
- Family support programs.
COMPREHENSIVE SEX EDUCATION
In Kentucky, there are extremely limited sex education requirements. According to the Kentucky Department of Education’s Core Standards, sex ed must fulfill only the following two high school standards:
Students will understand that decisions regarding sexuality have short and long term consequences and responsibilities. (PL-H-PW-U-4)
Students will understand the importance of assuming responsibility for personal health behaviors by explaining how decision-making relates to responsible sexual behavior (e.g., abstinence, preventing pregnancy, preventing HIV/STDs), impacts physical, mental and social well- being of an individual. (PL-H-PW-S-PPH1.c)
However, it has been proven in multiple studies that comprehensive sexuality education is the best first step in decreasing unintended pregnancies and transmission of STDs, as well as increasing victims’ willingness to report sexual violence.
AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE CONTRACEPTION
While the ACA requires contraceptives to be covered in all insurance plans beginning January 2014, access to contraception can be difficult, especially for people living in rural areas; particularly were a so-called ‘conscience clause’ passed, allowing pharmacists and doctors to refuse filling or prescribing contraception.
ACCESS TO ABORTION
Kentucky currently has two abortion clinics, only one of which operates on a regular schedule. Currently, state-mandated counseling must be provided 24 hours prior to the procedure but can be done over the phone. In each of the previous three legislative sessions, bills seeking to restrict a woman’s right to access abortion have been presented; some of those bills even passed one house of Congress, only to be stopped by a handful of stalwart reproductive rights allies in the other house. One such ally has been appointed to the judiciary, leaving her seat open; a special election is being held on December 10th to fill that seat.
FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAMMING
Kentucky has a poor track record of support for families. To add insult to the cuts in support programs at the Federal level, families living at the poverty line were handed another blow through the cuts to childcare assistance funds this year.
Check out what’s happening at the rally on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
And look for a full report about the Kentucky Road Rally for Reproductive Rights here on Monday!