Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
“Planned Parenthood strongly disagrees with U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional.
“Simply put, if Judge Vinson’s ruling is upheld, it would be a huge step backward for American women, many of whom have already begun to benefit from health care reform.”
“The new health care law represents the greatest single advance for women’s access to health care in 45 years. It will expand access to health insurance for millions of women, and it also includes measures to make primary health care, including annual exams, preventive care, and reproductive care, more affordable. These measures promote the health of women by guaranteeing coverage of preventive care, such as lifesaving breast cancer screenings and immunizations with no co-pays. The law will also increase access to contraception for women, and potentially allow for all FDA-approved prescription contraception to be available without co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs. Offering prescription birth control with no co-pays would enable women to choose the method that works best for them, and help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. The new law will also put an end to discriminatory practices such as routinely charging women higher premiums than men, and denying coverage for so-called ‘pre-existing’ conditions such as breast cancer or even pregnancy.
“Given the enormous benefit of the new law for women and women’s health, Judge Vinson’s decision to strike down the law would have a devastating impact on American women and their access to affordable, quality health care.
Among the key provisions of the health care law that benefit American women:
-guaranteeing that preventive care, including lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and immunizations, are covered without co-pays;
-ending insurance abuses such as denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and dropping individuals after they become sick;
-stopping the discriminatory practice of charging women more than men for health insurance;
-expanding coverage for young adults by allowing them to stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26;
-significantly increasing access to women’s health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings and contraceptive care;
-ensuring women have direct access to OB/GYNs and community providers they rely on for health care;
-providing $75 million annually for fact-based sex education and teen pregnancy prevention;
-potentially allowing for all FDA-approved prescription contraception to be available with no co-pays, enabling women to choose the method that works best for them, and reducing the number of unintended pregnancies;
-ultimately extending health care coverage to tens of millions of women and families who currently don't have insurance.
Planned Parenthood continues to oppose the unacceptable abortion provisions in the new health care law, which sets up a complicated system requiring two separate insurance payments from individuals, one for abortion coverage and one for all other health care coverage. Fortunately, the new health care law does not include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Planned Parenthood helped successfully defeat. Under the new law, health plans will still be able to offer comprehensive insurance coverage for reproductive health care, including abortion, as long as private funds are used to pay for such coverage.
January 31, 2011
Planned Parenthood Media Office, 212-261-4433
January 31, 2011