Illinois action blog

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thank President Obama for Protecting Access to Affordable Birth Control

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration announced that they will make no changes to the birth control coverage benefit under the Affordable Care Act.

This decision is based on sound medical science and health policy. It means that millions of hard-working women will have access to affordable birth control, including women who are employed by a religiously affiliated hospital, university, or other religiously affiliated organization that serves the broader public.

The Obama administration adopted the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendation that birth control be covered as a women’s preventive service because it is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families.

Increased access to birth control is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality, as well as other health benefits and positive health outcomes. Among other things, birth control can protect women against debilitating symptoms of endometriosis and can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Birth control is not just basic healthcare for women; it is an economic concern. This commonsense decision means that millions of women who would otherwise pay $15 to $50 a month will have access to affordable health care. Doctors and public health experts agree that increased access to birth control prevents unintended pregnancies and improves health outcomes for women and their families.

Planned Parenthood believes all women, regardless of their employer, should be able to access the birth control coverage benefit. That’s why Planned Parenthood opposes the current provision that allows religious employers like churches and church associations to deny this important and economically valuable benefit to their employees. We believe the women’s birth control benefit should be available to all women, regardless of health plan or employer.

This policy represents one of the greatest advancements for women’s health in decades and ensures that millions of women will have access to affordable birth control and is a great victory for women and women's rights.

Thank President Obama for Affordable Birth Control

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Affordable Care Act, Birth Control,


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