Letters to the Editor

June 8, 2014

Leave birth control choice to individuals, not businesses

It's 2014 and we are still fighting about birth control.

June marks the 49th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the historic 1965 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by married couples. On this very same anniversary, the court is set to decide whether bosses can deny employees birth control coverage simply because they personally object to contraception.

Today, more than 27 million women in America, through the Affordable Care Act, have a preventive benefit that covers birth control without any additional co-pay. As a result, women have saved $483 million on their out-of-pocket costs on birth control in 2012, that's an average of $269 a year.

The Supreme Court's ruling on this case, expected later this month, could have far-reaching consequences for women and families. If the justices rule in favor of giving corporations and bosses the legal right to deny birth control coverage in any employee's insurance plan, this could create a slippery slope where employers would be able to deny coverage to their employees for any medical services, prescription or procedure to which they object.

True religious freedom gives everyone the right to make personal health-care decisions, including whether and when to use prescription birth control based on one's own beliefs and what is best for one's health and family.

Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, Planned Parenthood will continue to provide women with the reproductive health care they need, including comprehensive birth control, no matter who her boss is or where she lives.

Paula Gianino

President and CEO

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

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