Nearly sixty-three million women to continue accessing affordable birth control through the Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON –– Just now, a federal court in Pennsylvania entered a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump-Pence administration’s latest attack on affordable birth control. Last year, the administration released sweeping new rules to cut the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee for birth control coverage with no out-of-pocket costs. This follows yesterday’s decision by a California court enjoining the rules for people in 13 states (CA, CT, DE, HI, IL, MD, MN, NY, NC, RI, VT, WA, VA) and the District of Columbia. The rules seek to allow virtually any employer or university to refuse birth control coverage if they have a moral or religious objection. Litigation in California and Pennsylvania will likely continue on these rules, as the Trump administration is expected to appeal the decisions and not give up on its efforts to undermine women’s birth control access.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
This is a win for women across our country — as a doctor, I cannot believe that we are still debating birth control in 2019, something that nine in 10 women will use in our lifetimes. Affordable, accessible birth control is why the U.S. has reached the lowest unintended pregnancy rate in 30 years. It’s time that politicians recognize birth control as health care and that women, in consultation with doctors, decide what contraception we receive — not our employers.
Data shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe women should have birth control coverage, regardless of their employer’s personal objections. The rule puts the Trump-Pence administration in direct opposition to the overwhelming majority of voters.
This decision comes as the administration is soon expected to advance a “gag rule” policy designed to dismantle Title X — the nation’s program for affordable birth control, and the one program meant to ensure that people with low incomes have access to birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41 percent of the four million patients who receive care through this program.
BACKGROUND ON BIRTH CONTROL:
FACT: Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons like treating endometriosis.
FACT: We are at the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years because of expanded access to birth control and sex education.
FACT: The Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit saved women an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills in its first year alone. Thanks to this benefit, nearly 63 million women now have access to birth control without copayments.
FACT: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, after the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit took effect, fewer than four percent of American women had to pay out of pocket for oral birth control. That number was more than 20 percent before the law’s passage.
FACT: A 2010 Hart Research poll, conducted before the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision went into effect, found that one in three women voters had struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 57 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
FACT: And, a 2017 report found that four in 10 Black women of reproductive age reported that they could not afford more than $10 a month for birth control if they had to pay out of pocket.
FACT: Eighty-one percent of Americans (including 90 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Republicans) support policies that make it easier to get the full range of birth control methods.
FACT: A Business Forward survey, found that 75 percent of women — including 86 percent of women executives — say the ability to plan if, and when, to have children has played a key role in their ability to pursue professional and career goals.
FACT: The U.S has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and Black women are most at risk of dying from childbirth. Access to birth control can help reduce maternal and even infant mortality. In 1965, at the time of the Griswold v. Connecticut decision — the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that provided the first constitutional protection for birth control — 32 women were dying for every 100,000 live births in America. Today, the rate is less than half that. Infant mortality has fallen even faster — from 25 deaths to six deaths per 1,000 live births.
FACT: Women use birth control for a variety of reasons. In fact, 58 percent of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention, including endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome — which is prevalent among women of color — fibroids, and menstrual regulation.
FACT: In 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the invention of the pill as one of the top 10 most transformative moments in the business sector over the last 85 years. Access to birth control has not just opened up educational and career opportunities for women, but it has catapulted women into more management roles. In fact, a study showed that the pill is responsible for one-third of women’s wage gains relative to men since the 1960s.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.