Women are one step closer to having birth control covered at no cost.
Medical experts agree: birth control is prevention.
Women are so close to no longer having to spend money on copays at the pharmacy counter.
But we haven't crossed the finish line yet. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) soon will decide whether to turn this recommendation into law and require insurance plans to cover a full range of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved contraceptives as part of health-care reform.
For women who can't afford rent or groceries, paying for birth control is just out of the question. Covering birth control at no cost means that women won't have to choose between paying bills and skipping a month or two of their contraception.
The good news is that today's recommendation shows that science and medical experts are on our side. After months of research and debate, experts concluded that, yes, birth control is prevention.
Improving women's access to birth control is positive in so many ways. A woman who can plan when to have a family is able to participate in society more fully. Allowing women to plan and space their pregnancies contributes to healthy childbearing. And ultimately, fewer unintended pregnancies can reduce the need for abortion.
Unfortunately, some anti-choice groups don't share our views. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops even said that birth control is not health care, but a "lifestyle choice."1
Our opponents are just flat-out wrong. Birth control is nearly universal: 98 percent of women use birth control at some point in their lives.
Medical experts agree that women need birth control for prevention, and that it should be available to every woman, regardless of how much money she earns.
Thanks for supporting women's access to birth control.
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
1 - "Contraception Could Be Free Under Health Law," Associated Press, October 31, 2010