I am celebrating because the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has ruled that birth control is basic preventive health care and should be made available to millions of women in the United States without a co-pay. This is a huge step forward for health care and women’s rights, made possible by Planned Parenthood.
Free birth control can limit unwanted pregnancies as well as keep women and children healthy. Now income is not the deciding factor if a woman has access to the type of birth control, and can consistently use, which works best for them.
For the next 60 days, the HHS is accepting public commentary. According to Planned Parenthood, HHS is receiving “comments on proposals to exempt certain religious employers, which could lead to some women losing access to this vital protection. ” If you care about this issue, please send HHS a message showing your support. Planned Parenthood has a prewritten letter sample.
Below is the full report:
Huge, wonderful, important news: Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will require all new insurance plans to cover birth control without co-pays under the new health reform law.
This is one of the biggest victories for women’s health in a generation — and you helped make it happen. It took years for us to get to this point, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you, Esther, for your commitment, your voice, and your steadfast support.
It’s a sweet victory, but we need your help with one more thing. For the next 60 days, HHS is accepting public comments on their ruling, as well as a proposal that would allow some religious employers to deny women access to this vital health care service. Can you take just a moment to post a comment? Tell them that you whole-heartedly support no-co-pay birth control and that all women, regardless of their employer or insurer, should have access to birth control if they want or need it.
By recognizing that birth control is an essential part of preventive health care, this HHS ruling will give countless women access to affordable birth control. That’s why we need to speak up one more time and make sure HHS knows how important this decision is to you, your friends, and your community.
It means fewer unintended pregnancies. It means more college students and young women can control their health and plan their families. It means a woman suffering from endometriosis could get the care she needs — saving her from chronic pain and potential infertility.
In the coming weeks, we can be sure that anti-choice and anti-family-planning groups are going to do everything they can to prevent women from getting access to more affordable birth control. And I have no doubt that their allies in Congress will try to turn back the clock on women’s health once more — it’s what they do. I know that I’ll need to count on you to stand with us against these attacks, and you can get started by sending your comment to HHS today.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Planned Parenthood and the women, men, and teens who rely on us — and for helping make victories like this possible.
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America