Coalition Calls on Leaders of Appropriations Committees to Block Attempts to Undermine Affordable Care Act Birth Control Provision
WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–March 6, 2013. Spearheaded by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a broad coalition of nearly 40 groups today urged leaders of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to stand strong against ongoing efforts by opponents of women’s health to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s no co-pay birth control provision. The letter comes as Congress begins work on an agreement to continue funding the federal government. Anti-women’s health organizations
have already begun advocacy efforts to restrict women’s ability to access the full range of birth control through the ACA’s benefit.
“As you know, the Affordable Care Act included a historic investment in prevention, including a provision requiring health insurers offering individual or group health plans to cover certain preventive health care services, including contraceptive services, with no cost-sharing to the individual,” the coalition wrote in the letter.
“Because of this landmark provision of the law, women will have insurance coverage for the full-range of FDA-approved contraceptives … As part of the implementation of the ACA, the Obama Administration recently released a proposed rule clarifying that, regardless of where a woman works, she will have access to birth control without cost-sharing.”
The letter concludes, “Including language in a continuing resolution or omnibus appropriations measure to restrict women’s access to birth control would be bad policy and is contrary to our shared goals of improving women’s health. We respectfully urge you to reject efforts to politicize the appropriations process for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 and oppose riders that are harmful to women’s health.”
Signers include: Advocates for Youth, American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Civil Liberties Union, American Medical Student Association, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Feminist Majority, Jewish Women International, NAACP, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Abortion Federation, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Congress of Black Women, Inc, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Women’s Organizations, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Health Law Program, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women (NOW), National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Health Network, National Women’s Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Connection, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society, Third Way, Unitarian Universalist Association, Women’s Research & Education Institute, and YWCA USA.
Millions of Americans stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. In August, the birth control benefit went into effect, making birth control available without co-pays or deductibles. On average, women spend up to $600 a year on birth control. You can learn more about the importance of birth control access here: http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/birth-control/
- Last month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America launched the “Birth Control: We All Benefit” campaign to remind Americans and their elected representatives that we all benefit when women have access to affordable birth control.
- This is not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue. A 2010 survey found that more than a third of female voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and as a result, used birth control inconsistently. This isn’t surprising considering co-pays for birth control pills typically range between $15 and $50 per month – up to $600 per year. Other methods, such as IUDs, can cost several hundred dollars, even with health insurance.
- Public polling finds overwhelming support for women’s access to birth control. Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services, according to an October 2012 poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
- Additionally, the October 2012 Contraceptive CHOICE study led by the Washington University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology demonstrated that access to birth control counseling, drugs, and devices without cost-sharing — as promised in the Affordable Care Act — leads to significantly lower rates of unintended pregnancy.
- Further, contraception is directly linked to improved maternal and infant health. When women plan their pregnancies, they are more likely to access prenatal care, ultimately improving their own health and the health of their children.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 750 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.