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Planned Parenthood: Data Underscores Importance of Affordable Care Act’s Birth Control Benefit

St. Louis, MO — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results of the agency’s first publication on the use of emergency contraception in the United States, showing a rise in emergency contraception usage while repeated use emergency contraception is extremely low.

In addition, a second study tracked trends in birth control use from 1982 to 2010 and reinforces that almost all women (99 percent) at some point in their lives have used contraception, regardless of their background or religious affiliation. The study also shows that the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) is increasing.

In response to these groundbreaking results, Paula Gianino, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri issued the following statement:

“We are unwavering in our belief that all people deserve high quality, affordable health care. Both of these studies underscore the importance of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which gives women coverage without co-pays for the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Birth control works, but only if women have access to it — no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they have.”

Public polling finds overwhelming support for women’s access to birth control:

  • Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services, according to an October 2012 poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

The Contraceptive CHOICE Study released last fall demonstrated that access to no co-pay birth control — as is outlined in the Affordable Care Act — leads to significantly lowered unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.

Access to affordable birth control benefits women and their families:

  • Birth control has contributed to the advancement of women in the workplace by allowing them to plan for their futures and invest in their careers.
  • Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men.
  • By the 1980s and ’90s, the women who had early access to the pill were making eight percent more each year than those who did not.