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National observance acknowledges the incredible benefits of contraception

(New Haven, Conn.)—On November 13, 2019, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is proud to recognize “Thanks, Birth Control” Day, a national celebration of the many ways in which birth control dramatically improves the lives and opportunities of individuals and families. Birth control gives people the critical ability to plan, prevent, and space their pregnancies and make decisions about when, if, and how to start a family. Millions of people use birth control to follow economic and educational opportunities, lead healthier lives, and pursue their dreams.

PPSNE played a historic role in advancing access to birth control in America. In the landmark 1965 Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut — named for defendant Estelle T. Griswold, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut — ruled that Connecticut’s “Comstock law” preventing the use of contraception was unconstitutional and established the right to privacy with respect to intimacy. In addition to legalizing birth control across the United States, this precedent paved the way for other important reproductive rights milestones, including the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade establishing the right to abortion and the 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas that made sodomy laws unconstitutional.

Despite the overwhelming benefits of birth control, the Trump-Pence administration continues to attack and vilify reproductive health care and make contraception harder to access—especially for people with low incomes and people of color. This year, the enforcement of an abortion “gag rule” forced Planned Parenthood out of the national Title X family planning program, making it more difficult for millions of people to access affordable birth control and essential, life-saving services. Nationally, Planned Parenthood served 40% of all Title X recipients. In Connecticut, PPSNE served 88% of the state’s Title X patients and nearly 1,500 young people who rely on Title X in Rhode Island.

“Birth control is essential health care that gives people the ability to make decisions about their lives and their futures. Access to birth control should not be up for debate,” said Kafi Rouse, Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “PPSNE helped pave the way to legalize birth control in America more than 50 years ago, yet misogynistic politicians continue to attack reproductive health care and make birth control harder to access. Everyone deserves to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by birth control and comprehensive family planning services—we are proud to provide the full range of contraceptive methods along with the information and education people need to make informed decisions about their health.”

Although the right to use birth control is guaranteed, accessing care can be incredibly difficult. According to Power to Decide, more than 19.5 million women of reproductive age live in “contraceptive deserts”—areas of the country lacking reasonable access to a health center that offers the full range of contraceptive methods. 1.6 million of these women live in a county without a single heath center offering the full range of methods.

Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives for a variety of reasons—58% 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, fibroids, and menstrual regulation.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England operates 17 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island that provide all forms of FDA-approved birth control. Last year, PPSNE conducted more than 62,000 visits for contraceptive services. PPSNE health care providers are reproductive health experts who can provide information and help find the birth control method that works best for each individual. Patients can enroll in birth control by mail to receive 3-month supplies of the pill and the NuvaRing, and the Planned Parenthood Direct app provides a convenient way for people to sign-up for birth control delivery right from their smartphone.

To learn more about birth control and find the method that’s right for you, visit ppsne.org or make an appointment online or by calling 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).