CALIFORNIA – As the nation is on the precipice of a Supreme Court nominee announcement, ignoring Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish “…to not be replaced until a new president is installed”, California reproductive freedom providers are coming together to honor World Contraception Day on September 26.
This year’s World Contraception Day comes a time when federal threats upon sexual and reproductive health care and bodily autonomy are at an all-time high in our country: recent whistleblower reports reveal forced hysterectomies are taking place in immigrant detention centers, the two police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor have not faced criminal charges, and there are dozens of cases in the pipeline to the Supreme Court that could harm access to care, including overturning the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
While California has a long history of supporting protecting the right to access the full scope of sexual and reproductive health care, including birth control, and safe, legal abortion, there is more work to be done.
And so, on the eve of World Contraception Day, six reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations across the state—and counting— are coming together to formally launch the #HandsOffMyBirthControl California Campaign. Organizations include: Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC), Essential Access Health, NARAL Pro-Choice California, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), ACLU of California, and Citizens for Choice.
The formation of the coalition was prompted by the Supreme Court’s decision in June in Trump v. Pennsylvania, allowing employers to exclude birth control coverage for “religious or moral reasons.” While California has protections in place through first-of-its kind legislation protecting most California employees from any potential coverage exclusions, it does not extend to all Californians—an estimated 60% of Californians have health coverage under plans that do not have to follow the State’s contraceptive coverage laws. Additionally, a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute revealed that 29% of white women, 38% of Black women and 45% of Latinas, now face difficulties accessing birth control as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Polling shows 9 in 10 California voters support access to birth control, yet coverage gaps and barriers to access continue to exist, and even widen, in California, exacerbated by systematic racism and sexism. The #HandsOffMyBirthControl coalition is premised on addressing these inequities, first by releasing more information and educational materials over the coming months, with the goal of increasing public awareness about the impact of federal threats upon reproductive health care and advocating for increased coverage and access to critical care in California.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the statewide public affairs and public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and political action, PPAC promotes policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.