PPMT Seeks Contraceptive Coverage for CHIP
Planned Parenthood of Montana Seeks Contraceptive Coverage for CHIP
(Helena, MT) --- On October 14th, Planned Parenthood of Montana received a response from the Attorney General’s Office regarding PP’s suit against the State of Montana. PPMT’s complaint originally was filed with the Montana Human Rights Commission. PPMT re-filed the complaint in the First District Court on August 12, 2010 to properly address the Constitutional rights at stake. The lawsuit seeks to stop the enforcement of 53-4-1005(3) MCA, the state statute prohibiting coverage of prescription contraceptives under Montana’s CHIP program, a component of the Healthy Montana Kids program. This prohibition only affects young women and exclusively implicates prescription drugs used to prevent pregnancy. PPMT attorneys assert that this denial of comprehensive healthcare for young women violates multiple sections of the Montana Constitution.
Currently, the Healthy Montana Kids (HMK) program has 25,000 enrollees, 2,900 of whom are females ages 15-19. Young women of reproductive age represent 10.2% of HMK’s population and approximately 45.7% of teens in this age group are sexually active. Roughly 80% of sexually active teens use contraceptives, 70% of whom use prescription methods. PPMT estimates that approximately 1,300 young women currently enrolled in HMK are in need of contraceptive coverage and that number will likely grow when the program reaches full enrollment in 2011.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control issued a report on October 20, 2010 showing that Montana was one of only two states in the nation to show a statistically significant increase in teen births rates (2008 data): http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db46.htm
“We brought this lawsuit on behalf of our patients across the state, approximately 33% of whom are women seeking contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancy,” said Stacey Anderson, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Montana. “We hope to move forward with resolving this issue for Montana’s young women. Contraceptive coverage is good public health and prevention policy and the State of Montana needs to protect the privacy of all its citizens and ensure equitable access to healthcare,” said Anderson.