***OFFICIAL STATEMENT*** PRESS CONTACT: Mel Gagarin
Planned Parenthood of New York City Statement on Birth Control Lawsuit Filed by New York Archdiocese
(New York, NY) — Today’s lawsuit filed against the Obama administration’s birth control benefit by the New York archdiocese seeks to restrict women’s access to low-cost birth control, which is both a basic economic and health imperative for American women.
“Increased access to birth control prevents unintended pregnancies and improves health outcomes for women and their families. This is not a religious or political issue –doctors and public health experts agree that birth control is a basic and essential component of women’s preventative health care,” said Roger Rathman, Interim Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City.
Virtually all American women use birth control. In fact, 99 percent of sexually active American women, including 98 percent of Catholic women report using contraception at some point in their lives. The vast majority of Americans –nearly 71 percent –believe insurers should be required to fully cover the birth control pill and other forms of prescription contraception. Furthermore 53 percent of Catholic voters support ensuring that women get affordable birth control no matter where they work. Every year, PPNYC sees women specifically for contraception at our health centers throughout the city, many who could not afford contraception on their own.
“Birth control is not just a health related issue, but also an economic concern for women,” said Rathman. “If this lawsuit succeeds it will make access to affordable birth control that much more difficult, especially for those living below the poverty line in our city. Women need the economic benefit provided by this regulation.”
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC is bringing better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.