Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:00
Doctors and public health experts agree that birth control is a basic and essential component of women’s preventive health care. Following the medical community’s recommendation, the Obama administration mandated that employers provide health insurance, including birth control, for its employees. An exception for religious organizations was made, exempting them from providing birth control coverage, subsidizing the cost of birth control, or referring for birth control. Employees of these organizations were ensured access by requiring the employer’s health plan to provide birth control coverage directly to these women free-of-charge.
Despite these considerations, lawsuits were filed earlier this week [This letter was received May 24.] by Roman Catholic dioceses, schools and other institutions, including the local dioceses of Rockville Centre, against the inclusion of this benefit.
Virtually all American women use birth control. In fact, 99 percent of sexually active American women report using contraception at some point in their lives. This is a medical issue, not a religious or political issue. It is outrageous that we still have to make this case in 2012.
We at Planned Parenthood remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting women’s access to preventive health services, including birth control, and we will work to ensure that no woman has to worry about how she will afford her next birth control prescription.
JoAnn D. Smith
President & CEO
Planned Parenthood of Nassau County