Planned Parenthood: Notre Dame Students and Employees, Not University Bureaucrats, Deserve to Choose the Birth Control That’s Right for Them
Washington, DC — Today, the University of Notre Dame announced a reversal in it’s birth control coverage policy. Beginning this summer, thousands of students and employees who rely on the university’s health insurance plans will lose access to the full range of birth control options. Planned Parenthood Federation of America condemns this attempt to restrict and stigmatize health care needs. Notre Dame staff and students had previously fought for and won coverage for a full range of birth control methods through an independent, third-party health plan that covers contraception at no out-of-pocket cost. Now the university is preventing the third party from providing this coverage.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The University of Notre Dame has once again failed to stand up for the health care needs of its students and employees. University administrators are using medically and factually inaccurate information as a pretext to take away the full range of birth control options and impose their beliefs on thousands of people. The entire Notre Dame community — students, faculty, staff — deserve access to the full range of birth control options so they can choose the method that works best for them.”
Today’s announcement, which erroneously refers to certain birth control methods as “abortion-inducing drugs,” is the latest in a series of attacks on reproductive health and rights. While Notre Dame does not define “abortion-inducing drugs,” this language is commonly used to describe the medical and factual falsehood that Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) — such as Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) and birth control implants — cause abortions. Highly effective, longer-lasting methods are fast becoming the most preferred forms of birth control. In the past decade, use of IUDs and implants has increased five-fold among women of reproductive age. Due in large part to expanded access to LARCs, the U.S. is at the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years.
Two federal courts have temporarily blocked the Trump-Pence administration’s rules that eliminate the guarantee that insurance plans cover every FDA-approved method of birth control. Since the rules are currently blocked, the university should have to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket costs. If these rules were to be implemented, it would significantly undermine access to birth control — which nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use at some point in their lives; as well it could have far-reaching consequences for people's’ health and financial security.
Planned Parenthood's 11 million supporters stand with Planned Parenthood's #Fight4BirthControl Campaign, which is giving all people the resources they need to join the fight to protect access to birth control. Planned Parenthood Generation Action has more than 300 campus chapters across the country. As part of the #Fight4BirthControl campaign, Planned Parenthood is engaging these student groups to organize and urge their college and university presidents to make public commitments to protect access to birth control.
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 affiliates 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.