Birth Control is Essential Health Care and Good for Business
New York, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America launched its Business for Birth Control 2020 campaign, a movement of solidarity from 12 national companies affirming their employees’ birth control coverage as an essential part of their health insurance plans and urging more companies to do the same. The first companies pledging to be a Business for Birth Control have more than 600,000 employees and represent the retail, banking and asset management, health care, telecom, media, logistics and online delivery, venture capital, and public relations industries. A Wall Street Journal advertisement and posts on the businesses’ social media channels will ensure the message reaches tens of millions of people.
This pledge comes at a critical time. As the country grapples with the dual public health crises of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic, birth control and reproductive health care are under attack across the U.S. and around the world. The Supreme Court is currently considering two Trump administration rules that would allow employers and universities — because of their personal objections — to deny birth control coverage to employees and students. The administration has also withheld funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Health Organization (WHO), affecting millions of people who rely on U.N. agencies that provide reproductive health care services, often in the most dire humanitarian settings.
Attempts to restrict birth control access like these target communities of color who have always faced barriers to accessing health care — including sexual and reproductive health care. Systemic racism has already made the promise of reproductive freedom particularly unattainable for the Black community. The ability to decide if and when to have children is critical not just to gender equity in the workplace, but to racial equity. We know that birth control helps women plan and advance their careers — for Black women who face greater institutional barriers to promotion, lack of access to birth control should not be another hurdle.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, acting President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“As our nation faces the dual public health crises of COVID-19 and racism, people across the country are still facing relentless attacks on their health care. Whether it’s from the Supreme Court, the administration, or through international policy, access to birth control — critical, time-sensitive and essential medication that 90% of women will use in their lifetime — is under constant threat. Right now especially, we need more access to health care, not less. It has never been more essential for businesses to step up where politicians have failed.
“Guaranteeing birth control through company health insurance isn’t just the right thing to do — it makes sound business sense. Business leaders today are making a powerful statement to their employees: You should make your own health decisions, and we are willing to invest in your health and your future.”
Companies taking this important pledge today include: Amalgamated Bank, Argent, Bad Robot Productions, CREDO Mobile, Female Quotient, Jaya Apparel Group: parent company to Cinq à Sept and Likely, hims & hers, Postmates, The Helm, The Lede Company, Trillium Asset Management and Tumblr.
These companies agree that birth control is essential health care — nearly nine in 10 women will use birth control in their lifetimes. Access to birth control is responsible for one-third of women’s wage gains relative to men’s since the 1960s, and the ability to get the pill before age 21 has been found to be the most influential factor enabling women already in college to stay there. In fact, 86% of women executives believe that being able to plan and time parenthood is critical to professional development and families’ financial security.
Ensuring birth control access is an essential step towards equity in the workforce, especially as the country faces a reckoning regarding the mistreatment of Black people for centuries. Affordable birth control is crucial to Black women’s economic success — more than two thirds of Black women believe the ability to plan if and when to have children is important to their ability to pursue their career goals.
For many in the U.S. and across the globe, the future they dream of is out of reach. In the U.S. today, Black women and Latinas earn drastically less than what their white male counterparts earn, and at the current rate of change it will take more than 250 years to fully close the gender parity gap in economic participation and opportunity globally. By taking a stand today, these “Businesses for Birth Control” are working to change that.
On June 24, Planned Parenthood Federation for America will host a webinar with Female Quotient to introduce the Business for Birth Control 2020 initiative and its calls to action. The webinar will discuss ways companies can advance diversity and inclusion through investment in employee and community health care, particularly for women and Black and LGBTQ+ communities. Panelists will include leaders from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Female Quotient, Postmates, and Amalgamated Bank.
If you are a business that wants to make the commitment to your employees that you will continue to provide coverage for birth control, please contact us.
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.