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Tamayo-mugshot.jpgLillian Tamayo, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Florida and the Treasure Coast wrote an opinion piece on the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case being decided by the Supreme Court.

She wrote about why contraceptive coverage matters.

"At Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast, we know firsthand why this case matters so much. Planned Parenthood health care providers across the country see the benefits of affordable birth control every day. We also hear from women who are forced to choose between groceries or filling their prescription – between paying rent or choosing the form of birth control that’s right for them.

Birth control is only a “social issue” if you’ve never had to pay for it.

Here are the facts. Ninety-nine percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some point in their lives — and providing access to it is common-sense and mainstream health care. Birth control is tremendously important to women for all kinds of reasons, including to control certain medical conditions like endometriosis and to plan our families. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 60 percent of birth control pill users cite health benefits as a contributing factor for using the pill.

We also know that birth control can be expensive — with some of the most effective methods costing upwards of $1,000. But when women have access to the full range of contraception methods — without cost barriers — we can actually reduce unintended pregnancy rates and the need for abortion. We also know that access to affordable birth control is just smart for everyone. For every dollar spent on family planning, taxpayers save nearly $6 in public money."

She followed that with what a vote against contraception coverage would mean for women.

"If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the corporations, it could jeopardize the birth control coverage that millions of women rely upon. It could give bosses a free pass to discriminate and create a slippery slope in which employers, based solely on their personal religious beliefs, could deny coverage of any medical treatment or procedure to their employees that they disagree with — including mental health services, vaccines, surgery, blood transfusions, and more.

That’s why we’ve seen so many people, including doctors and medical groups, speak out against these efforts. It’s also why Planned Parenthood, no matter what the court decides, will continue to stand alongside women and their families to ensure they get the health care they need — without interference from their bosses."

Read the complete op-ed here.