WASHINGTON, DC — According to a new study published today in the journal Contraception, the rate of unintended pregnancies among low-income women could drop by as much as 25 percent if birth control pills were made available over-the-counter while still being covered by insurance with no copay. The study also found that the number of women using oral contraception could increase by as much as 21 percent. Planned Parenthood has long supported making birth control available over-the-counter, as determined by medical experts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); as long as insurance companies are still required to cover the full range of options without a copay.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
"We strongly support making birth control available over-the-counter, as part of our nearly 100-year history of expanding access to birth control. Every woman in America should have access to the birth control method that's best for her, without barriers based on cost, availability, stigma, or any other hurdle.
"Just making birth control available over-the-counter doesn't go far enough. We have to also ensure that it's affordable by protecting insurance coverage that is already helping more than 48 million women get birth control with no copay.
“Planned Parenthood wants all women to have the information and resources they need to prevent unintended pregnancy, meet their life goals, and start their families when the time is right for them.”
Facing criticism for their extreme record and positions on women’s health, candidates including Cory Gardner in Colorado and Thom Tillis in North Carolina called for making birth control available over-the-counter in their campaigns for U.S. Senate last fall. However, they continued to push for the repeal of the ACA and all of its benefits to women, including the preventive benefit which has already ensured more than 48 million women are able to get the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods without a copay — saving women $483 million on birth control pills alone in the first year under the ACA.