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Planned Parenthood is Engaging College Students to Fight for Birth Control Access Across the Country

Washington, DC — Following the University of Notre Dame’s announcement that it will end birth control coverage for its employees and students, Meritain Health — the university’s insurer for employee plans — has announced it will step in to continue coverage for Notre Dame employees. Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauds Meritain Health for taking action to fill the coverage gap created by Notre Dame’s decision, and now urges that the same protection — protection for basic health care — be extended to Notre Dame students. 

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Meritain Health has stepped in where the University of Notre Dame let its employees down. Meritain’s move is a recognition that birth control is basic health care. I’m relieved that Notre Dame’s decision to stigmatize birth control won’t affect its employees, but the health and educational success of its students are still at risk. The entire Notre Dame community — students, faculty, staff — deserves health care options that include birth control coverage.

“As colleges across America decide whether they will affirm that they value the health of their students, faculty, and staff, Planned Parenthood is doing all we can to hold college administrations accountable, to organize students, and to make sure that workers still have their access to this basic health care protected.”

The University of Notre Dame’s decision was made possible by the Trump administration’s new rule that eliminated the guarantee that birth control would be covered by insurance. This new rule is about taking away fundamental health care, plain and simple, and it will have far-reaching consequences for students’ health and success. According to the Guttmacher Institute, being able to get the pill before age 21 has been found to be the most influential factor in enabling women who are already in college to stay in college.

Planned Parenthood’s #Fight4BirthControl campaign is giving all people, including the organization’s 10 million supporters, 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, as well as students on other campuses, 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.