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St. Paul, MN—  Today, the House Preventive Health Policy Division voted to advance HF 520, a bill that would protect and expand access to birth control for Minnesotans. 

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) made birth control free to most Americans.  However, a July 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed employers who object to birth control by claiming religious or moral obligations to eliminate birth control coverage from employee health insurance plans.  This ruling is expected to eliminate access to affordable birth control for tens of thousands of Americans. Furthermore, in November, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case seeking to overturn the ACA completely, which could further undermine access to birth control and health coverage for millions of Americans.

Authored by Rep. Kelly Morrison, M.D., the Protect Access to Contraception (PAC) Act (HF 520) would put the ACA birth control requirement into Minnesota law and allow Minnesotans to receive an extended supply of birth control at once.

The Protect Access to Contraception Act will:

  • Guarantee that FDA-approved categories of contraceptive drugs, devices, and supplies are covered by insurance without co-payments.
  • Ensure that medically necessary contraceptives, as recommended by a health care provider, are covered without co-payments and without interference by employers.
  • Allow Minnesotans to receive up to 12 months of birth control at a time, covered by insurance.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives.

"We are grateful to our state leaders who are taking decisive action to help Minnesotans get the birth control they need and deserve,” said Sarah Stoesz, President of Planned Parenthood Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota Action Fund.  “There is a preponderance of evidence that when people can get birth control, families have more economic opportunity, and our communities are healthier—and now more than ever, we must do all we can to support working families."

Birth control is an economic issue

Since the onset of the global pandemic, women have been leaving the workforce in record numbers and we know that access to affordable birth control is crucial to women’s participation in the workforce.  In states with greater reproductive health care access, including birth control coverage, women are more likely to be managers, work full time, have higher wages, and experience upward job mobility. 

Most Americans support improved access to birth control

Public opinion polls consistently find overwhelming nonpartisan support for improving access to birth control services. For instance, a May 2019 survey conducted by the non-partisan, nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that 76 percent of Americans said it was “very important” (60 percent) or “somewhat important” (16 percent) that “the federal government provides funding for reproductive health services, such as family planning and birth control for lower-income women.” The survey found that a majority of Independents, Republicans and Democrats agreed with that statement.

Fast facts on birth control:

  • Nearly 9 in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives.
  • 58% of women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention.
  • 14% use birth control solely for medical reasons, such as treating endometriosis or fibroids.
  • The American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association all view contraception as critical to women’s health.
  • One-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are attributed to birth control access.
  • In states with greater reproductive health care access, including birth control coverage, women are more likely to be managers, work full time, have higher wages, and experience upward job mobility.

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Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral 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.

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