DENVER— Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is deeply disappointed following Friday’s court decision granting a preliminary injunction that allows a Colorado-based employer to deny no-cost birth control to his employees. This case seeks to give a private employer the ability to take away the new birth control coverage benefit from employees—a standard benefit afforded to women in America under the Affordable Care Act.
“Access to birth control is a critical health and economic concern for women,” said PPRM President and CEO Vicki Cowart. “The Affordable Care Act has guaranteed a new standard of health coverage for every American, regardless of their employer’s personal political views. There is no reason why a private, for-profit business owner should be able to demand a personal exception from this standard—denying his employees the same level of coverage that others will have.”
Doctors and public health experts agree that birth control is a basic and essential component of women’s preventive health care, and 34 percent of women voters report having struggled to afford prescription birth control at some point in their lives and, as a result, used birth control inconsistently. Virtually all women in America have used birth control. In fact, 99 percent of sexually active American women report using contraception at some point in their lives. Every year, Planned Parenthood sees over two million women specifically for contraception at nearly 800 health centers across the country.
“Colorado law already requires contraception coverage in the small group and individual health insurance markets. In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has designated unintended pregnancy one of 10 “winnable battles” in our state. We must take Colorado forward, not backward,” said Cowart. “Access to affordable birth control is not only a basic health imperative for women, it is a critical economic issue for millions of families struggling to juggle their monthly expenses. Politics have no place in a woman’s personal health decisions.”
According to a recent Hart Research Poll, when it comes to employers providing full coverage for prescription birth control, voters see this issue as a matter of women’s health care and access to birth control and reject efforts to frame this as a religious liberty issue. By a 20-point margin, voters are more likely to say that this issue is a matter of women’s health care and access to birth control (56 percent) than a matter of employer’s religious liberty (36 percent) when it comes to whether religiously affiliated employers should be required to provide coverage for prescription birth control.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.
July 30, 2012