Published: 06.28.12| Updated: 06.28.12

Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon praised today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, saying it will have a “profound and concrete impact” on millions of people’s lives. Calling the Affordable Care Act “the greatest advance in women’s health in a generation,” Planned Parenthood said the law will provide access to birth control and cancer screenings without co-pays, guarantee direct access to OB/GYN providers without referrals, and end discriminatory practices against women, such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for “pre-existing conditions.”

Cynthia Pappas, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, said: “At Planned Parenthood, we know how important this law and this decision are for women and families, because we see the need for affordable health care every day. Women who come into Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to balance paying for birth control and health services with paying for groceries or gas for the car. The Affordable Care Act will make those decisions easier for women across the country.”

Laura Terrill Patten, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, the political arm of the organization, added: “This decision will have a profound and concrete impact on millions of people’s lives. Affordable, quality health care will now be available to millions of women who had no coverage or inadequate coverage before. Today, we are closer than ever to realizing the promise of health care for all. This is a victory for the American people, and we thank President Obama and the members of Congress who passed the Affordable Care Act for their leadership on this issue.”

Specifically, Planned Parenthood pointed to key benefits of the Affordable Care Act that will have an impact on millions of Americans’ lives:

• More than 45 million women have already received coverage for preventive health screenings at no cost since August 2010 thanks to the Affordable Care Act – including mammograms and Pap tests – and millions more will be able to get free screenings in the coming years.
• 3.1 million young adults have already been able to stay on their parents’ insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. In the next year, millions more who would have otherwise lost coverage will continue to be insured under their parents’ plan.
• Women are guaranteed direct access to OB/GYN providers without a referral, as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
• Starting in August, birth control will be treated like any other preventive prescription under the Affordable Care Act, and will be available without co-pays or deductibles.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, 150,000 Oregon women will be newly insured. Health care providers that focus on family planning increasingly contract with private insurance companies. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 33 percent of all family planning providers now contract with private insurers, and 49 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers – including all health centers in Oregon – have contracts with private insurance companies.

Nearly 800 Planned Parenthood health centers serve nearly three million patients every year, and one in five women in America relies on Planned Parenthood at some point in her life.

Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, based in Portland, serves 28 counties in Oregon and 2 counties in Southwest Washington at 11 health centers. Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, based in Eugene, serves 8 counties at 8 health centers. Together, they serve more than 85,000 patients annually. More than 95 percent of their services are preventive, including cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing.


About PPCW
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 eleven 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

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