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The Trump Administration is taking direct aim at no-cost birth control coverage for 62 million women, including over 1 million Minnesotans, by attempting to eliminate guaranteed birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is an attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime.

The Protect Access to Contraception (PAC) Act (HF 3453 / SF 3101) protects no-cost birth control coverage in Minnesota from further attacks by the Trump Administration and guarantees the basic right of people in Minnesota to control their own bodies, plan their families, and access the birth control method that is right for them, regardless of cost and free of political interference.

END OF SESSION UPDATE: The 2018 Minnesota Legislature adjourned on May 21st without having held a single hearing on the PAC Act. Despite the bill being blocked by Republican legislators, bill authors Rep. Erin Murphy and Sen. Sandy Pappas were able to offer the PAC Act as an amendment to a larger spending bill in both the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate. While the PAC Act amendment failed along largely party-line votes in both the House and Senate, lawmakers are now on the record with their support or opposition to protecting no-cost birth control in Minnesota. For more information about the PAC Act amendment vote in the Minnesota House, see here.

The PAC Act will provide critical birth control protections for Minnesotans:

  • Guarantee coverage for all FDA-approved forms of contraceptive drugs, devices and supplies without co-payments;
  • Ensure that patient education, contraception counseling and follow-up services are covered without co-payments; and
  • Ensure that medically necessary contraceptives, as recommended by a health care provider, are covered without co-payments.

The PAC Act would put into state law the Obama-era requirement that most employers cover contraception, but does NOT force houses of worship, religiously affiliated nonprofits, or closely-held corporations to cover birth control. These employers maintain the right to request an exemption from the requirement to cover birth control under the ACA and the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. 

Why Does Minnesota Need the PAC Act?

The Trump Administration is Rolling Back the ACA No-Cost Birth Control Benefit

The Trump Administration is trying to allow employers to put their religious or moral beliefs ahead of employees’ access to basic health care services. A woman’s reproductive health care should be between her and her doctor—not at the discretion of her boss or the President.

Birth Control is Essential to Health, Education and Economic Advancement

  • Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives. 
  • 58% of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention;14% use birth control exclusively for medical reasons, such as treating endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, and menstrual regulation.  
  • 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 care.
  • 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.

The ACA Birth Control Benefit Improved Access by Eliminating Costs

  • Prior to the ACA, contraceptives made up an estimated 30-44% of out-of-pocket health care spending for women. Since ACA implementation, fewer than 4% of reproductive age women experience out-of-pocket costs on oral contraceptives.
  • The ACA’s no-cost birth control benefit saved women $1.4 billion on birth control pills in its first year alone. 
  • More than 62 million women now have access to birth control without copayments thanks to the ACA. With cost barriers removed, women are now turning to more effective, longer-term birth control methods such as IUDs.

Teen Pregnancy and Abortion Rates are at Historic Lows, Thanks to Contraception Access

In Minnesota and across the nation, teen pregnancy and abortion rates are at historic lows, thanks in no small part to access to birth control. A woman should not be blocked from the ability to plan a pregnancy by her employer.

Access to No-Cost Birth Control is Supported by the Vast Majority of Americans

86% of Americans (including 91% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans) support policies that make it easier to get the full range of birth control methods.  77% of women and 64% of men support no-cost contraceptive. 

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Minnesota Legislators Announce Birth Control Protection Bill

On March 8, 2018, Rep. Erin Murphy and Sen. Sandy Pappas introduced the Protect Access to Contraception (PAC) Act to protect no-cost birth control in Minnesota.

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