Thanks to Trump administration's rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, the University of Notre Dame announced last week that it would end birth control coverage for employees and students.
We already know how important access to birth control is for everyone, but it’s especially important for students and young people. Young people often have a tough time affording birth control, which is concerning because being able to get the pill before age 21 is one of the most influential factors that enable women who are already in college to stay in college. Cutting students like those at Notre Dame off from this access is an attack on essential health care.
Luckily, the third party insurance companies that provide health coverage for students and faculty announced they will step in to continue providing coverage on campus, filling the coverage gap created by Notre Dame’s decision.
Despite the University of Notre Dame’s failure to stand up for the health and autonomy of its students and employees, the campus community will continue to have access to birth control thanks to Aetna Student Health, Meritain Health, and the many Notre Dame students, alumni, staff, and faculty who spoke out. They understand what the university’s administration does not — birth control is basic health care.
Still, students and employees at Notre Dame should’ve never had to worry about whether their school would block them from that care, and they shouldn’t have to obtain birth control coverage separate from all other health coverage. Furthermore, while what happened at Notre Dame is ultimately a win for students who need and deserve access to birth control, no one should worry whether their university or employer will drop coverage for essential health care. We won’t stop fighting until everyone has easy access to birth control.
Ready to join the fight?
Enough is enough. Basic reproductive health care shouldn't be up for debate.