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Category: Politics, Health, Reproductive Rights

ACTION: Thank the HHS for Landmark Birth Control Decision

August 2, 2011

Yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed its landmark decision requiring health insurers to cover the full cost of contraception, with no co-pay, beginning in August 2012.

The Women's Media Center applauds the HHS's ruling, which places a much-needed importance on women's health that is too-often not a priority in health care policy.  Birth control is a critical part of preventive care, and studies support the idea that making contraception available to all women, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay for it, will significantly reduce long-term health care costs associated with unplanned pregnancies.

For the next sixty days, the HHS is accepting comments from the public regarding this ruling. We urge you to raise your voice and send a note to the HHS in support of birth control with no co-pays for all women.

The HHS's decision moves women's health care forward, despite a media environment where sexist rhetoric often tries to imply that responsible women who seek birth control are participating in irresponsible behavior. Just last week, Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly said, "Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex and are not going to take their birth control anyway" in a segment about this policy. (In an eerily similar tone, New Hampshire lawmaker Raymond Wieczorek said "If you want to have a party, have a party but don't ask me to pay for it" when New Hampshire recently defunded Planned Parenthood, barring thousands of women from access to birth control and other women's preventive care.) This attitude about women is dangerous.

The Women's Media Center is proud that the HHS has made a ruling that represents reality. Women need access to birth control because it is a basic part of preventive care.

Please sign a note thanking the HHS and supporting its landmark decision today. Thank you!