Contraception: Expand Access, Not Exemptions
This article is cross-posted with permission from ThinkProgress Health.
As the Obama Administration debates whether to expand an exemption to a new health insurance requirement to cover all FDA-approved methods of contraception, there are some important facts to keep in mind:
– The average woman spends five years pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant, and at least 30 years trying to avoid pregnancy.
– More than 99 percent of women of reproductive age who have had sexual intercourse have used at least one method of family planning.
– Contraception is the most commonly prescribed medication for women ages 18 to 44
– Eighty-eight percent of voters support access to birth control
– Approximately three-quarters of Americans agree that insurance should cover contraception
– Fifty-eight percent of pill users rely on oral contraception at least in part for non-contraceptive reasons
– Eighteen percent of women on the pill reported inconsistent use, such as skipping doses, as a cost-cutting measure
Under the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA, women will benefit from greatly expanded access to contraception—which has been shown to improve health. But this important consumer protection is at risk of being undermined by an unreasonably expansive religious exemption.