Obamacare is expanding access to affordable health care services for women, while making sure that religious employers don’t have to refer, provide, or pay for contraception if they object. Thanks to the health care law, insurance plans are beginning to cover birth control and other recommended preventive health services for women with no cost-sharing, which will benefit 47 million women. A recent study from the CDC demonstrates just how important the law will be to ensuring women have access to the care they need.
The study found that 62% of women ages 15 to 44 had used contraception within a month of being interviewed, and the most common method was birth control pills. But contraception patterns varied significantly by income. For example, only 19% of lower-income women used birth control pills, compared to 39% of women with higher incomes. As the authors of the study explained, women might have “differential access to specific methods because of out-of-pocket costs”—and those out-of-pockets costs make it difficult for them to get the care they need.
President Obama believes that no woman’s health should depend on how much money she makes. Many women use contraception to manage health conditions or reduce the risk of certain cancers. By eliminating co-pays for recommended preventive care—including birth control—and making sure all Americans have access to health insurance, Obamacare can help bridge these gaps and make sure women can make the choices that are right for them.
But Mitt Romney would take us in the other direction. He has pledged to “kill” Obamacare starting on his very first day in office. That’s a pledge to eliminate all the ways Obamacare benefits women, including preventive services, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and eliminating gender discrimination in premiums. And that’s only the beginning. He’s also campaigning on a promise to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which would make it even harder for women to get the contraceptive care they need. He’s even sworn to end “Title X,” which is the only federal program focused solely on family planning and reproductive health services and that prioritizes services for low-income families.
Romney is pushing an extreme agenda that takes women’s health back decades—one that women just can’t afford.