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Planned Parenthood Action Fund on Revised Birth Control Accommodation

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 08.22.14

Planned Parenthood Action Fund on Revised Birth Control Accommodation 

Once again, we’re reminded of the great lengths opponents are willing to go to put barriers between women and their birth control.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards released the following statement on the revised birth control benefit accommodation released today by the Department of Health and Human Services.  The revised accommodation is for religiously affiliated non-profit organizations who oppose providing their employees with insurance coverage of birth control. 

The Administration also proposed today to expand the accommodation to for-profit corporations that are closely held, such as Hobby Lobby.  Since the Supreme Court ruled that these closely held corporations can deny their employees birth control coverage, an expanded accommodation could help ensure that women who work at companies like Hobby Lobby will continue to have access to no-co-pay birth control.    

Statement from Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Once again, we’re reminded of the great lengths opponents are willing to go to put barriers between women and their birth control. While the Obama Administration is working hard to protect women's access to birth control in the face of harmful Supreme Court decisions, today's notice also serves as a stark reminder of what is at stake for women in this country when it comes to affordable basic health care.  Congress needs to act to protect birth control access.

“At Planned Parenthood Action Fund, we know how critical it is for women to have access to the birth control method that works best for them - without seeking a permission slip from their employer. That’s why we support the Not My Bosses Business Act in Congress, which would put health care decisions back where they belong: between a woman and her doctor.  Today’s proposal to stem the growing tide of corporations attempting to deny employees birth control coverage only reinforces the need for Congress to take action so that no for-profit company can come between a woman and her access to affordable birth control. 

“The revised accommodation has no impact on for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby that are now allowed to deny birth control coverage to their employees.  Women who work at corporations like Hobby Lobby can still be denied birth control coverage, and we are glad to see that the Administration is proposing ways to ensure that these women can get no-co-pay birth control.”

Religiously affiliated non-profit organizations, including the two that sought stays from the Supreme Court, were already exempt from paying for birth control coverage for their employees. They simply had to file a form stating their religious objection.  This revised accommodation changes the process through which religiously affiliated nonprofits file that objection -- and it still makes sure that employees have access to birth control.

BACKGROUND:
To the majority of Americans, birth control is not a controversial issue. Birth control is basic health care – and it’s only a ‘social issue’ if you’ve never had to pay for it.

  • According to recent polling, women overwhelmingly disagree with the general notion that corporations should be able to exempt themselves from laws they feel go against their religious beliefs.
  • Emphasizing the important role birth control will play in midterm elections this November, 57 percent of women voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes allowing employers to refuse to cover birth control.
  • Studies show that increased access to contraception reduces the rate of abortion.   For example, women who receive birth control with no copay or at a reduced cost are able to avoid more than two million unplanned pregnancies each year, which also reduces the need for abortion.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.