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Marking Anniversary of Legalized Contraception, Planned Parenthood Releases Report Highlighting Benefits of Birth Control in Minnesota

 Celebrates Expanded Access to Birth Control Under New Health Care Law

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Jen Aulwes

651.755.9557


Published: | Updated: 06.06.13

St. Paul, MN — On the 48th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut (Friday June 7th), the historic 1965 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by married couples, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) is celebrating the gains made by women since the decision, including expanded access to birth control made possible by the Affordable Care Act, with the release of a new report this week.

 

“As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate in Minnesota, PPMNS understands that when women have access to affordable birth control — they benefit, their families benefit, and we all benefit,” said Sarah Stoesz, President & CEO of PPMNS. “Women's preventive care — including birth control — is basic health care. This shouldn't be a revolutionary idea, but unfortunately it is to some. This report today presents the undeniable evidence that women’s access to birth control has a positive impact on all Minnesotans.”

 

PPMNS is proud to partner with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to release the report Birth Control: We All Benefit – Access to Birth Control Matters for All Minnesotans. The report highlights four distinct areas where our state has benefited from expanded access to birth control including improvements in women’s and children’s health; more economic security for Minnesota’s working families; increased savings for Minnesota’s taxpayers and a brighter future for Minnesota’s economic growth.

 

Planned Parenthood provides basic preventive care to more than 65,000 Minnesotan men, women and teens each year and dispenses more than 325,000 units of contraception annually. PPMNS clinicians are specialists in sexual and reproductive health care and provide every patient with the personalized, expert care they deserve.

 

“As a part of our efforts to celebrate access to birth control and educate Minnesotans this month we’re proudly featuring some of our very own clinicians in a series of videos about birth control and Planned Parenthood,” said Stoesz.  The video series includes Lisa – a Planned Parenthood Nurse Practitioner – who explains how Planned Parenthood clinicians are experts at helping a woman choose a birth control method that will work for her.  Kristin, another health provider with Planned Parenthood, discusses options available at Planned Parenthood whether a woman has health insurance or needs no- to low-cost services. She also has some information for women out there who may be considering an intrauterine device – or an IUD as their preferred method of birth control.

 

Access to birth control has ushered in a generation of healthy, empowered women and families and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, birth control is now covered as part of the preventive benefit, without a co-pay. 

“These benefits will only be expanded thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which enables millions of women to get access to the full range of FDA-approved birth control options without a co-pay.  We celebrate the Affordable Care Act and will continue our work to breaking down barriers so that every woman — no matter where she lives or who her boss is — has access to its contraception and basic preventive health care,” continued Stoesz.

 

Birth Control: We All Benefit – Access to Birth Control Matters for All Minnesotans is available in hard copy and on-line. To request a hard-copy, please contact Jen Aulwes, Communications Director for PPMNS.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT INCLUDE:

 

  • Before the 1965 Supreme Court decision that legalized birth control for married couples, 32 women were dying for every 100,000 live births in this country. Today the rate is less than half that. Infant mortality has fallen even faster—from 25 deaths to fewer than seven deaths per 1,000 live births—as more children are born to parents who planned their births.

 

  • Each year in Minnesota, there are 46,000 unintended pregnancies costing Minnesota taxpayers $72 million dollars annually. Conversely, for every dollar invested in helping women avoid unintended pregnancy, the government saves nearly $4 in Medicaid expenditures that otherwise would have been needed – and possibly more.

 

  • The average woman spends about five years pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid an unintended pregnancy. These same women make up close to 70 percent of Minnesota’s workforce.

 

  • 80 percent of Minnesota’s mothers work, and half are the primary breadwinners in their families. These families depend on the income that women earn - which in turn depends on the woman’s ability to time and space her children appropriately.

 

  • Contraception not only allows Minnesota women to support their families: historically we know it is responsible for increasing their earning potential over time. The gender wage gap shrank 10 percent in the 1980s and 30 percent in the 1990s because of increased access to the birth control pill.

 

THE REPORT ALSO HIGHLIGHTS WOMEN’S STORIES FROM ACROSS MINNESOTA, INCLUDING:

 

·         Julia of Minneapolis, who credits access to contraceptives with her ability to start and grow her business. By 2007, there were 133,141 women-owned firms in the state—which means women own one in four of Minnesota’s businesses.

 

·         Tina from Owatonna who says, “Having birth control helped me to finish college and go on to be a successful, financially secure woman. I am now planning a family, a family I can provide for, and the security of birth control made that possible.”

 

·             Anne from the Twin Cities who says, “I have a young daughter whose congenital heart

condition may make pregnancy risky for her, once she reaches childbearing age. She should take that risk only as a choice, not because she can’t afford birth control!”

 

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH IN A GENERATION:

 

  • Seven in ten Americans believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services.

 

  • Approximately 47 million women nationally, including one million women in Minnesota, stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s women’s preventive health care provision, including no co-pay birth control.

 

Already, it’s estimated that nearly 27 million women nationally are benefiting from the women’s preventive services provision which went into effect last August.  

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For more than 80 years, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota has worked in our region to make sure all people have the information and the means to make free and responsible decisions about whether and when to have children.  Planned Parenthood operates 20 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota and an Online Health Center, providing quality and affordable family planning, reproductive health care services and education to nearly 64,000  women and men each year.

 

Visit us on the web at www.ppmns.org

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