Access to contraception is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Access to birth control has revolutionized opportunities for women and advanced their economic mobility, educational attainment, and health outcomes.
In fact, one-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptive pills. Also, being able to get the birth control pill before age 21 is one of the most influential factors enabling women already in college to stay in college — which has led to a significant increase in women who are college students.
And nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives.
That’s why Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that Minnesotans have easy, affordable access to contraceptives and other reproductive health services in order to control their own reproductive health outcomes and their personal and professional success.
Thanks to Affordable Care Act (ACA), all preventive care, including birth control, is now available to Minnesotans with health insurance at no out-of-pocket cost. With 86% of Americans (including 91% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans) supporting policies that make it easier to get the full range of birth control methods, the ACA birth control provision is popular. And, importantly, and it is working.
BEFORE the ACA birth control provision:
- One in three women struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 57 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
- Contraceptives made up an estimated 30-44% of out-of-pocket health care spending for women.
AFTER the ACA birth control provision went into effect:
- Women saved an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills in the first year alone.
- 62.4 million women now have access to birth control without copayments.
- More than two-thirds of women report that the full cost of their prescription birth control was always covered.
- With cost-sharing barriers removed, women are increasingly turning to more effective, longer term birth control methods, such as the IUD and implants.
In 2017 and 2018, the Trump administration released rules that allow any employer or university with religious or moral objections to refuse to comply with the ACA birth control provision. This means that employers and universities can now impose their personal beliefs on employees and students by denying them access to birth control as part of the health coverage they earn. Birth control is essential health care.
For five years, a bill to protect access to no-cost birth control for more than one million Minnesotans has been introduced at the Minnesota Legislature -—but the Republican controlled Minnesota Legislature refused to hold even one single hearing. In 2019, the bill was re-introduced with additional protections by Sen. Sandy Pappas and Rep. Laurie Halverson. Join Planned Parenthood Action Fund in calling on Minnesota lawmakers to preserve ACA birth control protections for Minnesotans.