Davidson’s stance on contraception worrisome

To the Editor:

On Sept. 20, I participated in the Republican Women’s Club townhall with Congressman Warren Davidson held at Springfield City Hall. I attended because I’ve become concerned about the availability of preventative contraceptive care in Clark County.

My adult daughter recently opted to have a contraceptive implant, but her primary care physician, who is affiliated with Mercy Health, could only refer her to another doctor. That doctor, it turned out, could only remove an implant.

My daughter turned to Planned Parenthood, and they were able to meet her needs.

But for how much longer?

Rep. Davidson has repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He explains his votes by referring to his pro-life position. Unfortunately, his position also relies upon misrepresentations of Planned Parenthood’s work and a flawed understanding of health care options in Clark County.

After the townhall, I approached Rep. Davidson to share the challenge my daughter faced. His private response was different from the public response at the meeting—and no more satisfying.

He recommended celibacy.

Rep. Davidson also speculated that the lack of available services must be attributable to low demand. But this easy free-market explanation disregards the extent to which health care options in the Springfield community are shaped by the policies of a religiously affiliated hospital and its physician agreements.

Rep. Davidson’s deficient responses on the topic of reproductive health are worrisome because the needs in my community are real.

In 2016, Clark County ranked fifth among Ohio’s 88 counties for unplanned pregnancies. In communities like mine, access to the most effective and low-maintenance birth control methods, such as the implant my daughter chose, is crucial.

I urge Rep. Davidson to take these concerns more seriously and to see value in those services that provide communities with the option of contraceptive health care.

— Cynthia Richards