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Marking Anniversary of Legalized Contraception, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Celebrates Expanded Access to Birth Control under New Health Care Law

Says “We Can’t Let Politicians Take Us Back to the Days Before Griswold”

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Monica McCafferty
303.813.7732
720.475.0289


Published: 06.08.13| Updated: 06.10.13

DENVER— On the 48th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the historic 1965 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by married couples, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is celebrating the gains made by women since the decision, and is reminding Colorado residents of the expanded access to birth control made possible by the Affordable Care Act.  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.  June also marks the 53rd anniversary of the approval of the pill as an oral contraceptive by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We can’t let politicians take us back to the days before Griswold.  Access to birth control shouldn’t be a revolutionary idea, but unfortunately it is to some — with a small group of vocal politicians and bosses still working to deny women access,” said Vicki Cowart, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.  “Forty-eight years after the Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision, 99 percent of women say they’ve used birth control at some point in their lives — many for a wide range of health reasons in addition to preventing pregnancy.  Thanks to this landmark court decision, the number of women in the U.S. labor force has more than tripled, and women’s income now constitutes a growing proportion of family income.

“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.  As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate in Colorado, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains works every day to break down the barriers that still exist between women and their ability to access contraception. We celebrate the Affordable Care Act and will continue our work to ensure that every woman — no matter where she lives or who her boss is — has access to its benefits,” said Cowart.

The court's landmark decision — coming five years to the month after oral contraceptives became available to American women and 49 years after Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. — provided the first constitutional protection for birth control for women across the country. Before that, a woman’s ability to control the size and timing of her family depended on her zip code.

SINCE GRISWOLD AND THE FDA APPROVAL OF THE PILL:

  • Access to birth control has expanded opportunities for women and has helped them move closer to economic equality. Since Griswold, the number of women in the U.S. labor force has more than tripled, the number of women lawyers has increased ten-fold, the number completing four or more years of college has increased more than five-fold, and in 2010 women received more than half of all doctoral degrees. 
  • A 2012 report from the Guttmacher Institute confirmed that women use contraception to better achieve their life goals, with the majority of participants reporting that contraception has had a significant impact on their lives, allowing them to take better care of themselves and their families, support themselves financially, complete their education, and keep or get a job.
  • According to the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of pill users report that they use it for a wide range of health reasons, like treating endometriosis, a common but little-understood disease that affects 5.5 million women and is a leading cause of infertility.

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT’S BIRTH CONTROL BENEFIT:

Every year, more than 750 Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide see nearly three million patients — two million specifically for birth control information and services.  Planned Parenthood also offers online tools that can help people start a conversation with providers about health care: My Method can prepare women for a conversation with their providers about the most appropriate and best birth control option for them. 

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Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 33 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.

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