The benefits of family planning services in West Virginia are many. Family planning services have significantly contributed to reducing the infant mortality rate. By providing family planning services to all individuals in need, both female and male, the following health outcomes can be accomplished:
Reducing the number of unintended or inadequately spaced pregnancies and/or adverse pregnancy outcomes lowers the cost of providing care for infants whose prematurity, low birth weight, or other birth complications may require extraordinary expenditures after birth. In addition, prevention of unintended pregnancies reduces the number of children living at or below the poverty level, thus decreasing continuing dependency on public programs for support.
As West Virginia moves forward with welfare reform initiatives, a key strategy for reducing long-term welfare dependency and discouraging out-of-wedlock childbearing is preventing unintended pregnancies, and teen pregnancies, in particular.