According to the Guttmacher Institute, 99 percent of all sexually experienced women and 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women will have used birth control at some point in their lives. In addition, the typical woman spends five years pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, and 30 years trying not to get pregnant. The Institute of Medicine recommended that birth control be included as a preventive health care benefit, because it is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families. Based on this information the United States Department of Human Services included the requirement that health plans under the Affordable Care Act’s jurisdiction must cover birth control as a women’s preventative health service, without co-pays. Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico supports this requirement, because access to birth control saves lives, helps prevent unintended pregnancies, improves the outcomes for children, and reduces abortion. Sadly, there have been attempts in the courts by employers, as well federal and state attempts through legislation, to allow employers to deny insurance coverage of contraception to their employees. PPVNM opposes these attempts as we believe that birth control is basic health care and that all men and women deserve access to family planning services. Currently, New Mexico requires insurance plans to cover contraception but this coverage is constantly under threat. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an opinion over a decade ago that states that a refusal to provide insurance coverage of birth control is sex discrimination. We are committed to ensuring and expanding access to all medically safe forms of birth control.