Washington, DC –– Today, as a result of a lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a federal district court in Pennsylvania granted a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s birth control rule. The court found that the Trump administration rule not only violates rulemaking procedure, but also violates federal law by making it permissible for virtually any employer to deny women coverage for birth control. As a result, Trump’s harmful attack on birth control has been temporarily blocked.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
We applaud Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro for protecting access to birth control. Trump’s harmful attack on birth control shows a fundamental disdain for women’s health and lives by putting the health of 62.4 million women at risk.
“There’s no doubt about it: Improving birth control access has led to historic lows in pregnancy among teenagers, unintended pregnancy and the abortion rate. We cannot afford to roll back the progress we’ve seen under the Affordable Care Act.
“It is every woman’s right to decide what to do with her body, and it is a fundamental freedom to be able to decide if and when to have a child. Now, we need everyone — business leaders, politicians, artists, activists, and families across the nation — to stand up for women and join the fight for birth control access and reproductive rights, including safe, legal abortion.
In October, the Trump administration announced a sweeping new rule that went into effect immediately to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that ensured no-copay birth control coverage for all women, including women whose employers or schools can legally opt out of providing that coverage. The Trump administration’s rule allows corporations and colleges to opt out of the requirement based on poorly defined criteria. Planned Parenthood launched the #Fight4BirthControl campaign in response to the rule, and more than 528,000 people submitted comments to HHS in opposition to the Trump administration’s attack on birth control coverage, which was challenged in court not just by Attorney General Shapiro, but also by the attorneys general of California (joined by the attorneys general from Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia), Massachusetts, and Washington, as well as several advocacy groups. Several additional attorneys general have also spoken out against this rule.
According to a new survey from PerryUndem, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe women should have birth control coverage and think women should be able to get birth control coverage through their health insurance even if their bosses morally disagree with the idea of birth control. This puts the Trump administration in direct opposition with the overwhelming majority of voters.
In addition to the #Fight4BirthControl grassroots campaign, a growing number of business leaders are making a public pledge to guarantee their employees’ birth control coverage as a part of Planned Parenthood’s #BusinessForBC campaign. Medical experts and public health leaders like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Public Health Association have come out in opposition to the rules. People can go to www.fightforbirthcontrol.org to find out more or join the campaign.
BACKGROUND ON BIRTH CONTROL:
FACT: Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons like treating endometriosis.
FACT: The Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision saved women an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills in its first year alone. Thanks to this benefit, more than 62 million women now have access to birth control without copayments.
FACT: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, after the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision took effect, fewer than 4 percent of American women had to pay out of pocket for oral birth control. That number was more than 20 percent before the law’s passage.
FACT: A 2010 Hart Research poll, conducted before the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision went into effect, found that one in three women voters had struggled to afford prescription birth controls, including 57 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
FACT: The rule came just weeks after the Senate rejected deeply unpopular attempts to pass Graham-Cassidy, the latest version of Trumpcare, which would have eliminated the requirement that health insurance cover birth control.
FACT: According to recent FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, most companies already getting Obamacare birth control waivers aren't even religious groups. Vox reports that in fact, over half of the groups who applied for and received exemptions were for-profit companies and corporations.
FACT: 86 percent of Americans (including 91 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans) support policies that make it easier to get the full range of birth control methods.
FACT: A new Business Forward survey, found that 75 percent of women — 86 percent of women executives — say the ability to plan if and when to have children has been important for the ability to pursue their professional and career goals.
FACT: The U.S has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and Black women are most at risk of dying from childbirth. Access to birth control can help reduce maternal and even infant mortality. In 1965, at the time of the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that provided the first constitutional protection for birth control, 32 women were dying for every 100,000 live births in America. Today, the rate is less than half that. Infant mortality has fallen even faster — from 25 deaths to six deaths per 1,000 live births.
FACT: Women use birth control for a variety of reasons — in fact, 58 percent of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention, including endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome — which is prevalent among women of color — fibroids, and menstrual regulation.
FACT: In 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek also ranked the invention of the pill is one of the top 10 most transformative moments in the business sector over the last 85 years. Access to birth control has not just opened up educational and career opportunities for women, but it has catapulted women into more management roles. In fact, a study showed that the pill is responsible for one-third of women’s wage gains relative to men since the 1960s.
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers and advocates 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.