What’s at Stake for Access to Affordable Birth Control in the 2016 Election?
By Miriam Berg | Jan. 4, 2016, 12:38 p.m.
Category: Birth Control, Voting
In the United States, we’re at a critical turning point on birth control access. The question is: Are we going to continue making a big leaps forward, or are we going to turn back the clock? And the answer is going to be decided, in large part, by the 2016 election.
Thanks to Obamacare’s no-copay birth control coverage mandate, more than 55 million women in America today now have birth control under their insurance plan for no out-of-pocket cost. In the first year Obamacare went into effect, women in America saved an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills. It’s also not a coincidence that in this time of greater access to birth control in America, teen pregnancy is at a 40-year low, and women’s increased role in the labor force has transformed the economy and the workplace as we know it.
Looking back a little over 50 years ago when birth control was illegal, we’d call those results a revolution! But here’s the catch: Anti-women’s health politicians want to turn back all that progress.
Access to Affordable Birth Control Matters
All of the leading 2016 Republican presidential candidates oppose the ACA and its no-copay birth control provision, and several even came out to applaud the devastating Hobby Lobby decision, which lets some bosses deny birth control coverage to their employees based on personal beliefs. That means if any of these anti-women’s health candidates end up in the White House, they won’t protect copay-free birth control coverage — and they won’t protect employees from bosses who deny their coverage.
To quote Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards: “If women lose our rights to our bodies and to make our own decisions about pregnancy, that’s just the beginning. We will lose our rights to everything else in America.”
If our next president doesn't support affordable birth control coverage, that means women — especially low-income women — could lose a most fundamental right: control over whether and when they become pregnant. Anti-women’s health candidates want to take women back to the days of paying up to $600/year out-of-pocket for the pill — a price tag that made contraception out-of-reach for many women.
It’s despicable. And that’s why everyone who cares about birth control needs to fight harder than ever to elect a pro-women’s health president.
Where the Candidates Stand on Birth Control Access
We’ve got four words for anti-birth control candidates: We. Won’t. Go. Back. The average woman spends about five years being pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant and 30 years trying not to be pregnant. It’s time to elect leaders who won’t shame women for needing birth control — but who will, instead, help make sure birth control is available to everyone.
Here’s what you need to know about the presidential candidates’ views on affordable birth control:
Jeb Bush won’t protect access to affordable birth control, and compared the Obama administration's effort to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives to “Big Brother."
Ben Carson won't protect access to affordable birth control, and supported the Supreme Court's deeply unpopular Hobby Lobby decision.
Chris Christie won’t protect access to affordable birth control, and said he was not concerned that some New Jersey women could lose birth control coverage following the Hobby Lobby decision.
Hillary Clinton strongly supports expanded access to birth control, including the ACA provision ensuring contraception coverage without copay. What’s more, Clinton wants to ensure women have access to all types of birth control — and when she was in the Senate, Clinton helped lead the charge to ensure that Plan B or emergency contraception was made available over the counter. She also called the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling "deeply disturbing.” She’s in our corner!
Ted Cruz won't protect access to affordable birth control, and has referred to birth control as: "abortion inducing drugs."
Carly Fiorina won't protect access to affordable birth control, and supported the Hobby Lobby decision.
Mike Huckabee would work to make it harder for women to get affordable birth control, and endorsed "personhood" legislation that could interfere with access to some forms of birth control.
John Kasich won’t protect access to birth control, and has proven that he will do anything to block patients who rely on federal funds from accessing care, including birth control, at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Martin O'Malley supports access to birth control coverage, including the ACA provision that ensures coverage of contraception without copay. He’s in our corner!
George Pataki wants to repeal the ACA, including the health law's birth control benefit — which would pull women back to the days of paying up to $600 out-of-pocket a year on birth control.
Rand Paul won't protect access to affordable birth control, and applauded the Hobby Lobby decision.
Marco Rubio won't protect access to affordable birth control, and even introduced a bill that would allow bosses to deny birth control coverage to their employees.
Bernie Sanders supports expanded access to birth control, including the ACA provision that ensures coverage of contraception without copay. He also co-sponsored a bill that would protect women from bosses who want to block this coverage from them. He’s in our corner!
Rick Santorum won't protect access to birth control at all, and believes birth control is “harmful to women” and has referred to the “dangers of contraception.” He believes that states have the right to ban birth control.
Donald Trump won’t protect access to affordable birth control.
Join the Fight
Reproductive health advocates are fighting for every single woman in America to access no-copay birth control coverage. Join us.
We can't let these attacks on reproductive care keep happening. Now more than ever is the time to fight back. Now is the time to make sure everybody gets the health care access they deserve. Now is the time to join the I Vote Planned Parenthood Action campaign!
Tags: Election 2016, birth control