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Washington, DC –– Donald Trump, who supports repealing insurance coverage for no-copay birth control, will announce today on the Dr. Oz show that birth control “should not be prescription,” and he would instead have women buy it over the counter.

 

While this policy may at first glance seem like a step toward increasing access to health care, it  could do the opposite, drastically decreasing access to birth control, especially for low-income women. Unless a special provision is made, insurance companies would not have to cover the cost of birth control purchased over the counter, leaving women to pay up to $600 a year out of their own pockets. It also leaves out women who use birth control methods that can’t be stocked on store shelves, like IUDs.

 

When combined with the Trump-Pence plan to repeal the protections and coverage afforded by the Affordable Care Act, the consequences for women could be catastrophic — leaving 55 million women with a $1.4 billion price tag just to access their birth control. Trump’s new plan would only exacerbate those costs, making it even more difficult to access this basic health care that 99% of women have used at some point in their lifetimes.

 

Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

 

“Donald Trump’s birth control plan is simply unacceptable. Days after after releasing a maternity leave “plan” for married women only, Trump wants to put access to birth control out of reach for millions of women by making it more expensive. Women shouldn’t have to choose between paying for birth control or buying groceries for the month. Trump is facing a huge gender gap in the polls because women know Trump won’t fight for them and that he is the wrong choice for this country.”

 

Quick Facts on birth control:

  • Without insurance coverage, birth control pills can cost up to $600 a year, putting them out of reach for many women already struggling financially.

  • Thanks to the birth control benefit in the ACA, more than 55 million women are now eligible for prescription birth control without a copay. American women and families saved $1.4 billion on birth control pill prescriptions alone, thanks to this benefit.

  • Leading medical experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), oppose birth control pills being made available over the counter without a prescription, unless they continue to be fully covered by insurance.  

 

Background: Donald Trump would make birth control more expensive and less accessible

  • Simply making birth control available over the counter won’t expand access to birth control — it doesn't make birth control more affordable and doesn’t ensure that birth control sold over-the-counter is also covered by insurance. Without mandating insurance coverage, such a move would shift the significant financial burden back on women, since birth control pills can cost up to $600 a year, by once again requiring women to pay out-of-pocket for birth control.

  • Birth control is basic healthcare used by 99% of women at some point in their lives..

  • Studies have shown that before the requirement that insurance cover birth control with no cost to the women, more than one in three women struggled to afford it at some point, including 55% ages 18 to 34. As a result they have used birth control inconsistently, leading to unintended pregnancies. Eliminating insurance coverage for birth control pills would make this problem worse.

  • Leading medical experts including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believe over-the-counter birth control pills should be available without a prescription, but that this change should only be made if birth control pills continued to be fully covered by insurance.

  • Donald Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to the birth control benefit in the ACA, more than 55 million women are now eligible for prescription birth control without a copay. This has saved American women and families $1.4 billion on birth control. Trump also would defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care, including birth control, to 2.5 million patients every year.

 

Background: Donald Trump and Mike Pence would drastically roll back access to birth control and reproductive health care:

  • Trump promised that in his first 100 days as president, he’d start to repeal Obamacare, stripping women of no-copay birth control, which has benefitted more than 55 million women. [NYT, 5/4/16]

  • Trump’s health care replacement plan would cost more and cover fewer people. It would “cost nearly a half-trillion dollars more over the course of a decade — and lead to nearly 21 million people losing their health insurance.” [CNBC, 3/14/16]

  • Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, many of whom have a record of failing to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. Some are also anti-contraception. “Most of those on the short list hew closely to social conservatives' views on abortion and contraception, particularly when it comes to the contraceptive mandate created in the Affordable Care Act.” [Mother Jones, 5/18/16]

  • Trump and Pence have both repeatedly said they would “defund” Planned Parenthood by blocking patients from accessing essential health care, including birth control, at Planned Parenthood health centers.

  • Trump and Pence have both repeatedly said they want to see Roe v. Wade overturned and would nominate judges who would do that.

  • In Congress, Mike Pence cosponsored multiple so-called “personhood” bills that, if enacted, could have criminalized abortion in all cases from the moment of conception, with no exceptions, and even restrict access to some forms of birth control. [H.R. 552, cosponsored 4/5/05; H.R. 4157, cosponsored 11/13/07; H.R. 881, cosponsored 5/12/09; H.R. 374, cosponsored 1/20/11.]

  • In Congress, Pence also introduced six separate measures aimed at blocking patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers: He introduced three bills and three amendments in an effort to prevent millions of patients from accessing lifesaving care at Planned Parenthood health centers. [H.R. 217, 1/07/11; H.Amdt.95 to HR 1, 2/17/11; H.R. 614, 1/21/09; H.Amdt.389 to HR 3293, 7/24/09; HR 4133, 11/09/07; H.Amdt.594 to HR 3043, 7/19/07]

  • Pence said efforts to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood were the most “fiscally responsible” way to address issues facing the economy, ignoring the fact that his “defunding” legislation stops low-income patients from being able to seek care at Planned Parenthood health centers, leaving many with no other safety-net health care provider to turn to.  [Politico, 10/4/10]