Fight For Birth Control

On Friday, October 6th, two new provisions affecting access to birth control were issued under the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration ultimately gave employers and universities the right to deny employees or students birth control access on the grounds of religious or moral obligation. Giving institutions the right to “opt-out” of providing such health care services will undoubtedly reduce access to birth control across the nation dramatically, especially on college campuses.

The Affordable Care Act previously opened up birth control options to over 62.4 million people who would otherwise not have been able to afford it.  Before the provision, an estimated 1 in 3 women were unable to pay for such services. For young women, the statistics are even higher, with 57% of women from ages 18-34 struggling to afford birth control. When about 9 in 10 women will use birth control in their lifetimes, the effects of revoking such insurance coverage is huge. Research shows that access to birth control is a key factor in women having the ability to complete college, which is why it is crucial to advocate for its availability on university campuses.

Predictably, Planned Parenthood is taking a stand. Planned Parenthood’s newest campaign, “The Fight for Birth Control,” aims to tackle the Trump administration’s attack on reproductive health. The overarching goal is to secure affordable birth control options for all. Their mission statement asserts, “Birth control is not controversial: It’s basic health care that the vast majority of women will use over the course of their lifetime.” The Fight for Birth Control campaign specifically calls students to action, asking all of us to hold our college and university officials accountable. Planned Parenthood thus issued petitions, Op-Ed templates, Stop and Call scripts, and Student Letter drafts to make it easy for all of us to get involved in advocating for birth control on our campuses.  Generation Action groups across the United States are likewise getting involved with the #Fight4BirthControl campaign, and are likely active on your campus. So do your part to help preserve access to birth control across the nation!

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