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Report: Florida women (of color) face high rates of HIV and unplanned pregnancies
 
 
  By Ashley Lopez
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 http://americanindependent.com

A women's health report released by the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates this week shows that women, particularly women of color, in Florida are facing mounting health problems related to unintended pregnancies and HIV.

The group also criticized state lawmakers for curbing reproductive rights while not addressing these health issues.

"Some legislators are obsessed with a narrow anti-choice agenda, while they should be focused on helping the nearly two million women who do not have health insurance," Lillian Tamayo, president/CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast, said in a statement. "Let's stop scoring political points and start supporting women and their families as they struggle to get access to the health care they need."

In a statement announcing the report, Planned Parenthood warned that "nearly two million women across the state do not have health insurance."

"Almost a third of the people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are women and the state has the second highest number of women and girls living with AIDS in the entire country," the group continues. "Florida also has nearly a quarter-of-a-million unintended pregnancies each year."

The report also found that "1.9 million are in need of contraceptive services and supplies."

Planned Parenthood also noted that women in the state face a problem with HIV/AIDS.

According to the report:

· 31 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are women

· Florida has the second highest number of women/girls living with AIDS in the country.

· In 2010, HIV was the second leading cause of death among black females and the 5th leading cause of death among Hispanic females in Florida.

· 70 percent of women with HIV/AIDS in Florida are black.

· Over 28,000 women in the state are living with HIV/AIDS in Florida


According to the group, "Miami has over 7,000 women living with HIV/AIDS."

The group also highlighted problems with unplanned pregnancies, especially among teenagers. The group reported that "Florida has the 12th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country ... and 19 percent of births to teen mothers in Florida are repeat teen births."

The report also found that there were 223,000 unintended pregnancies in the state last year - 69,000 of those pregnancies were publicly funded, which has cost the state $641.5 million.

Tamayo said in a statement that the Legislature should be focusing its efforts on the state's health problems instead of curbing abortion rights.

"Florida has almost a-quarter-of-a-million unintended pregnancies annually," Tamayo said. "So why are legislators trying to make it harder to access reproductive health care services, such as birth control and sex education? Planned Parenthood is trying to reduce unintended pregnancies while politicians in Tallahassee are working against us."

 
 
 
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