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Missouri Legislators Treat Women as Second Class Citizens - Employers Put in Charge of Women’s Birth Control Decisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts

Michelle Trupiano - 573.424.8717


Published: 09.12.12| Updated: 09.12.12

Jefferson City, MO – Today, the Missouri legislature callously ignored the 700,000 Missouri women that use some form of birth control, and—by allowing SB749, the Birth Control Refusal bill to become law—put employers and insurers in charge of their birth control decision-making.

“The Missouri legislature, beholden to lobbyists that see an abortion in every birth control pill, has done a huge disservice to all Missouri women,” said Peter Brownlie, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. “Birth control is not just basic, preventive health care for women, it is a pocketbook issue. Without this new birth control coverage benefit, many women will now have to continue paying $15 to $50 a month on top of their premium. When you live paycheck to paycheck, that’s a lot of money!”

The Missouri Legislature passed SB749 in an attempt to undermine the incredibly popular proposal requiring most health insurance plans to cover birth control as preventive care with no additional co-pays. Governor Nixon vetoed the bill on July 12 and was over-ridden today.

“As a trusted health care provider to one in five women in America, Planned Parenthood sees every day how important affordable birth control is for women,” said Paula Gianino. “We know the overwhelming majority of Americans in the country agree that women should have access to birth control, no matter where they work. Today, our legislators ignored that message and told women loud and clear ‘your decisions don’t matter’. This legislature is out of touch and does not understand—or care—about increasing the economic burden for Missouri women.”

Fact:  Birth control is basic health care. Nearly 700,000 women in Missouri use some form of birth control. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/win/2006/Missouri.pdf

Fact:  Virtually all (99%) sexually experienced women in the US have used birth control, including 98% of Catholic women. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Religion-and-Contraceptive-Use.pdf

Fact: A majority of Americans agree women should have access to birth control, no matter where they work.

• 77% agree birth control should not be part of the national political debate (Bloomberg News, 3/14/12)
• 57% think religiously affiliated hospitals should cover contraception at no cost (Public Religion Research Institute, 3/15/12)
• 61% say insurance companies should cover the full cost of birth control (Washington Post-ABC News, 3/10/12)

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Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri serve more than 80,000 women, men and teens annually with life-saving cancer screenings, well-woman exams, education programs, STD prevention and treatment, and family planning services.

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