The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Trump v. Pennsylvania is egregious. It upholds Trump administration rules that allow employers and universities to deny their employees and students access to insurance that covers birth control. Birth control is a critical, time-sensitive medication that treats serious conditions and allows people to plan if and when they get pregnant.
This loss won’t hit everyone in the same way.
Restrictions like this target Black and Latinx people who are more likely to have low incomes and for whom basic health care has always remained out of reach, because of historic and continued underinvestment in access to affordable care. This decision will only make life harder for the very people who are keeping our economy afloat during this pandemic and fighting in the streets for the right to control their bodies and lives.
For years, we have been advocating for increased access to contraception, and so fortunately there already are some protections in place locally that will blunt the impact of this harmful rule. For example, in Maryland, the Contraceptive Equity Act ensures that those with state-regulated health insurance plans can access the contraception they need without the burden of a copay. Similarly, in DC, the Defending Access to Women's Health Care Services Amendment Act requires insurers to cover contraception and other essential health services. In Virginia, however, although The Commonwealth expanded its successful Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Program, there is no similar contraceptive equity law in place.
No matter who you work for, where you go to school, how much money you make, or the color of your skin, we believe that everyone has the right to control their own bodies and make decisions for themselves. Reproductive healthcare is essential — it should not be limited to a privileged few. Now more than ever, we need to expand access to reproductive health care, not take it away. Planned Parenthood Advocates for DC, Maryland and NoVa will not stand for this and we will never back down from this fight— no matter what.