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Stanford Medicine

Health Policy, Women's Health

Women's health groups launch campaign for no-cost prescription birth control

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Annual contraceptive costs for women can range from $60 to $600. Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) are hoping to reduce these costs to zero.

The women’s health groups rolled out a new initiative today called Birth Control Matters to make sure birth control pills and other contraceptives are covered as a preventive health care service, which would eliminate co-pays for such prescriptions. The Institute of Medicine and Department of Health and Human Services is expected to make a decision on the issue next year.

NPR Shots reports:

[ACOG Vice President for Practice Activities Hal Lawrence, MD,] says over the years ACOG and other medical experts have assembled a wide body of evidence that planning and spacing pregnancies reduces infant mortality, pregnancy complications, and birth defects; all of which saves the health system far more than the cost of contraception.

The public apparently agrees, according to a new polling done for Planned Parenthood by Hart Research Associates.

More than 70 percent of those polled earlier this summer said prescription birth control should be covered under preventive health care, including 77 percent of Catholic women, 72 percent of GOP women votes and 60 percent of male voters.

Supporters are working to collect a million signatures to strengthen the chances of contraception getting on the list of preventive health care services.

Photo by ProgressOhio

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