Planned Parenthood Celebrates Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

Reminds Oregon Residents That “We All Benefit” When Women Have Access to No Co-Pay Birth Control


Liz Delapoer
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette
503.775.4931 x3321

Published: 03.23.13| Updated: 03.25.13

Portland, OR - Planned Parenthood celebrates the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, and is beginning to make a significant health and economic difference in the lives of women across the country who have access to birth control without co-pays for the first time. The Affordable Care Act includes a historic investment in prevention, including a key provision requiring health insurers to cover certain women’s preventive health care services, including birth control, with no co-pays. Approximately 47 million women nationally and 633,784 women in Oregon stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. 

“The Affordable Care Act is the single biggest advancement in women’s health in a generation,” said Cynthia Pappas, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon.  “The ACA is already making a significant health and economic difference in the lives of women in Oregon who now have access to birth control without co-pays for the first time.”

“Unfortunately, even three years later, some politicians and bosses opposed to birth control are still fighting to take away affordable birth control from many women,” said Laura Terrill Patten, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.  “As we celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood health centers across the country are reminding Americans and our elected representatives that we all benefit when women have access to affordable 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. Millions of Americans stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision, which went into effect in August in some plans and makes birth control available without co-pays or deductibles. Access to no co-pay birth control has significant health and economic benefits, with women spending up to $600 a year on birth control.

Every year, Planned Parenthood health centers in Oregon see more than 80,000 patients – more than 69,000 of those specifically for birth control information and services.

• Access to birth control 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.

• 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 or their families (63 percent), support themselves financially (56 percent), complete their education (51 percent), or keep or get a job (50 percent).  Other reasons for using contraception, reported by a majority of respondents, include not being ready to have children (63 percent), feeling that using birth control gives them better control over their lives (60 percent), and wanting to wait until their lives are more stable to have a baby (60 percent).

• Birth control has contributed to the advancement of women in the workplace by allowing them to plan for their futures and invest in their careers. Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men. By the 1980s and ’90s, the women who had early access to the pill were making eight percent more each year than those who did not.

• 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.

• 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 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.


Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) is the largest non-profit family planning and reproductive rights organization in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Since 1963, PPCW has successfully carried out its mission of providing, promoting and protecting access to quality reproductive and sexual health care. Each year, approximately 60,000 women, men and teens visit one of PPCW’s ten health centers. PPCW provides a wide range of education programs and health care services, including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, emergency contraception, gynecological check-ups and Pap tests, breast exams, pregnancy testing and options information, and health counseling. Less than five percent of PPCW’s services are for early abortion care. For more information, visit

Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon (PPSO) has been dedicated to providing expert reproductive health care and sexuality education in Southwestern Oregon for over 47 years.  Each year 24,000 adults and teens visit one of our seven health centers.  PPSO is also the region’s most respected provider of medically accurate sexuality education for young people and adults, as well as training programs for professionals who work with youth and families.  Education and training programs make over 25,000 contacts each year, transforming the lives of young people in southwestern Oregon.  PPSO’s essential health services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman annual exams, birth control, STI prevention, testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and HPV vaccinations.  Less than 2% of PPSO’s patient visits are for early abortion care.  For more information, visit

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon (PPAO) is the statewide political voice for Planned Parenthood’s two affiliates in Oregon and for women’s health care. PPAO defends the Planned Parenthood mission by advocating for public policy that will enhance and protect women’s health; by building support and accountability among our elected officials in Oregon; and by engaging and motivating the public. PPAO is not affiliated with any political party, but is instead organized to support those state and local candidates who have taken responsible positions on women’s health care, including birth control and abortion. For more information, visit

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