The Protect Access to Contraception (PAC) Act will protect no-cost birth control in Minnesota
On March 8, 2018, Minnesota Legislators and supporters gathered in the Minnesota State Capitol to announce legislation that will protect no-cost birth control coverage in Minnesota from further attacks by the Trump Administration. The legislation will guarantee the basic right of Minnesotans to plan their families and access the birth control method that is right for them.
The Protect Access to Contraception (PAC) Act will guarantee insurance coverage for all FDA-approved forms of contraceptive drugs, devices and supplies with no co-payments. “Birth control is basic health care. It is central to women’s health and their educational and economic advancement,” said Sarah Stoesz, President of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund.
“This is a conversation that shouldn’t be necessary in 2018. We should be decades beyond fighting for birth control, but since President Trump took office, we have seen real threats to keep women from accessing birth control. Now it’s up to states like Minnesota to protect this fundamental health care benefit,” continued Stoesz.
Nine other states have already passed similar legislation to codify the Obama Administration’s requirement that insurance cover the full range of birth control options without cost to the patient. The PAC Act would also put protections in place to guarantee medically necessary contraceptives, patient education, contraception counseling and follow-up services are covered without copayments.
Representative Erin Murphy, also a nurse, said, “As the Trump administration attempts to allow employers to insert their religious beliefs into their employees’ lives, Minnesotans deserve protection from any erosion of their right to make health care decisions based on what is best for them.”
“We all benefit from women having control over their bodies and reproductive choices,” added Senator Sandy Pappas, a co-author of the bill, “I will be even more proud, when one day, it is not something we have to fight for.”
"Now, more than ever, womens' health care is under attack. That’s why it’s crucial that we protect womens' access to contraceptives here in Minnesota," added Rep. Melissa Hortman, House Minority Leader.
Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives. Every major medical organization agrees that contraception is critical to women’s health care.
Sarah Barott, a Planned Parenthood patient, spoke about her experience with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – a painful disease that can lead to infertility but can be managed by contraception. “If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood I wouldn’t have been able to manage my PCOS. These matters should stay between me and my doctor and should never be up for debate by my boss or the President.”
Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the political arm of PPMNS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.