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Washington, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America recognizes Latina Equal Pay Day by calling for access to affordable birth control for Latinas.

Latinas have the largest wage gap of any group, earning just 54 cents for every dollar that White, non-Latino men earn, while Black women earn only about 63 cents and White women earn only 78 cents. The wage gap doesn’t just affect economic success; it also affects people’s ability to get health care and can compound the structural barriers that communities of color already face to accessing quality health care.  

Reproductive health is basic health care and central to a woman’s ability to control her life and future. Undermining access to contraception is just one aspect of this administration’s broader attack against equal rightsand women’s ability to fully participate in the workforce and pursue their dreams.

Statement from Bridgette Gomez, Director of Latinx Outreach and Engagement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Today, more women graduate, lead, and innovate than at any other point in our history, and that’s true in large part for a very important reason: access to birth control. With such a disproportionate wage gap, for many Latinas under the Trump administration's new rule it may come down to deciding between putting food on table or paying for birth control. The only way to prevent us from going backwards in this country is for everyone who believes in women’s equality — from equal pay for equal work to access to basic health care— to stand up and fight back. There’s no scenario where our country progresses while leaving half the population behind. We must close the pay gap and fight for equal pay, because achieving economic equality is one crucial step forward to ensuring that all people can receive care — no matter what.

Women of color are more likely than White women to hold positions in the lowest-earning occupations: the service sector, sales, agriculture, and administrative office jobs. Among working women in 2014, 62 percent of Hispanic women were clustered into service and sales jobs. It is no surprise, then, that one-fifth of Latinas live in poverty, making it more difficult to afford birth control. With access to birth control on the chopping block under the Trump administration, Latinas are less able to plan their families, access opportunities, advance in their careers, and achieve economic success. The Trump administration has tried to reassure women that they can still access affordable birth control, but $50 a month — which amounts to $600 a year — is no small item in many people’s budgets, particularly for the women who make up a majority of low-wage workers.

Planned Parenthood is committed to breaking down the pay gap and protecting access to affordable birth control to ensure that all people live stable, healthy, and empowered lives. Planned Parenthood’s  #Fight4BirthControl campaign is part of a larger effort to do just that. The campaign kicked off last week with a series of tools and resources to help people from all walks of life — from the boardroom to the breakroom — join the fight to protect access to birth control. This Latina Equal Pay Day, we encourage everyone across the board to join our efforts.

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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.