Planned Parenthood Commends Governor, State Attorney General for Fighting to Ensure Women’s Access to Birth Control

Posted on October 12, 2017

CONTACT: Sari Stevens
717.234.3024 office

Shapiro Sues Trump Administration over ACA Birth Control Rollback, as Wolf Seeks to Make Birth Control Coverage State Mandate

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 11, 2017) –
Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates today praised Governor Tom Wolf and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro for their swift response to the Trump administration’s pledge to roll back Obama-era requirements that most employers cover birth control for employees through their health insurance.

“The Trump administration is waging a war on women,” said Sari Stevens, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates. “The president did everything he could to defund Planned Parenthood and deny basic reproductive care to women through his failed attempts to repeal Obamacare. Now he’s trying a backdoor approach to do what he can to limit access to birth control for millions of women. It’s shameful.”

Stevens was joined at the Planned Parenthood health center in Philadelphia by Shapiro, Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Valerie Arkoosh and a local patient who utilizes the center for birth control services as the state’s Attorney General announced he was filing suit against the Trump administration to stop the rollback.

“The Trump Administration broke the law and undermined the health and economic independence of American women by issuing these rules, which allow any company to deny insurance coverage of contraception. They replaced science and evidence-based medical reasoning with political calculation, and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is filing a lawsuit in Federal court to stop them,” Shapiro said.

The Affordable Care Act seeks to cover birth control just like any other preventive care, making it available without any out-of-pocket cost — a recommendation that came directly from the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine, reflecting the fact that medical and scientific communities agree that access to birth control is vital for controlling certain medical conditions.

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of two corporations that argued they should not have to provide insurance coverage for their employees’ birth control (as required by the Affordable Care Act) because of the business owners’ religious objections. The Trump administration wants to expand the number of employers and insurers who qualify for that exemption.

Earlier this week, after the Trump administration announced its intentions, the Governor urged Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature to finally take a stand for women and make birth control coverage a state mandate in basic insurance coverage.

According to polls, 86 percent of Americans — and 83 percent of Republicans — support policies that make it easier to get full range of birth control. Nearly 9 in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, with 2.5 million Pennsylvania women benefitting from the mandate under the Affordable Care Act.

Increased sex education and access to birth control are among the reasons that the current rate of unintended pregnancy is the lowest it has been in 30 years. Teen pregnancy is at a historic low, as is the national abortion rate.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable that in 2017, women still have to fight for access to birth control,” Stevens said. “We’re fortunate to have leaders like Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro who is willing to stand with us against these attacks on basic reproductive rights.”

ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD PENNSYLVANIA ADVOCATES In partnership with the three Planned Parenthood affiliates in Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, the state public affairs office in Harrisburg, works to achieve maximum public, governmental and media support for reproductive health care – including family planning – by developing, implementing and facilitating a statewide strategy.

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