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For Immediate Release: Monday, June 30, 2014

Contact: Alicia Johnson, 617-515-0531, [email protected]


Planned Parenthood: Supreme Court Ruling in Birth Control Case another Blow to Women’s Health


Ruling leaves birth control benefit in place for millions of women but gives some employers the new right to deny coverage

WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts condemned today’s ruling by the Supreme Court that some for-profit private corporations, such as the arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, can deny coverage of birth control to their employees, for no reason other than the personal religious beliefs of the corporation’s owners.


This decision comes on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that struck down Massachusetts’ buffer zone law and eliminated public safety protections outside of reproductive health centers.


Following is a statement from Marty Walz, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts:


“Today, the Supreme Court gave bosses the right to discriminate against women and deny their employees access to birth control coverage. This is a deeply disappointing and troubling ruling that will prevent some women, especially those working low-wage jobs and struggling to make ends meet, from getting birth control.


“This ruling does not strike down the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit. Today, more than 500,000 Massachusetts women are eligible for birth control with no co-pay thanks to this benefit, and many of them will not be affected by this ruling. But for those who are affected, this ruling will have real consequences.


“For the second time in less than a week, the Supreme Court has ruled against women’s health. By striking down the buffer zone law last Thursday, the Justices favored the rights of protesters to harass women all the way up to the door of their doctor’s office above the rights of those women to safely access health care. Today, the Court has ruled that an employer’s personal beliefs should determine what health care a woman can access. It’s appalling that in 2014 we must fight to protect access to basic health care for women.”




After decades of discriminatory coverage by insurance companies, the birth control benefit requires all insurance policies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to women — rightly categorizing birth control as part of women’s basic preventive care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 30 million women nationally are already eligible for this benefit. When the law is fully implemented, 47 million women nationally will have access to no-copay birth control thanks to the Affordable Care Act.


Thanks to the birth control benefit, women already have saved $483 million in the last year alone. Studies also show that women who receive birth control with no co-pay or at a reduced cost are able to avoid more than two million unplanned pregnancies each year, which also reduces the need for abortion. It’s not surprising that the public overwhelmingly supports the birth control benefit by a nearly two-to-one margin


Planned Parenthood has several resources, including a white paper and animated whiteboard video that provide background on the birth control benefit and what’s at stake with the Supreme Court case. A “Birth Control: We All Benefit” booklet includes 50 inspiring stories from women across the United States.


Birth control is tremendously important to women for all kinds of reasons, including the need to control certain medical conditions and to plan our families. Under the birth control benefit, women have access to this important preventive care at no cost.


  • The wide availability of birth control has been an enormous benefit for countless women and their families — enabling them to support themselves financially, complete their education, and plan their families and have children when they’re ready.
  • Virtually all (99 percent) American women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some time.
  • A 2010 survey found that more than a third of female voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and as a result, used birth control inconsistently. This isn’t surprising considering copays for birth control pills typically range between $15 and $50 per month — up to $600 per year. 
  • Other methods, such as IUDs, can cost several hundred dollars, even with health insurance. For the first time, under the birth control benefit, IUDs are now fully covered by insurance companies without additional out-of-pocket expense.
  • For many women, birth control is used for a host of health care reasons. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of birth control pill users cite health benefits as a contributing factor for using the birth control pill, including treating endometriosis, menstrual pain, and menstrual regulation.

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Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider and advocate in the Commonwealth, providing sexual and reproductive health care through nearly 50,000 patient visits per year at seven health centers. Ninety percent of PPLM services are preventive, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, sexual health education and information. For 86 years, PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and rights through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.


Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts


June 30, 2014


July 01, 2014