The development of safe, effective contraception is widely considered to be one of the greatest public health achievements of the last century. Contraception reduces unintended pregnancy, improves birth outcomes, reduces maternal death and has been correlated with improved health and economic benefits for families and communities. Worldwide, contraception is considered basic health care and access to health care that includes contraception is a core human right.
The Reproductive Health Access Project is dedicated to ensuring that contraception, abortion and miscarriage care are integral components of our nation’s primary care system. We know from our work across the country that there are many factors that influence how readily you can access reproductive health care. Our medical director, Linda Prine, and research associate, Gabrielle deFiebre, recently published an article in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved entitled Disparities in Contraceptive Care that breaks it all down. Age, race, income, and geographic location are key factors associated with access to contraception in the U.S.
Now, because of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision , the religious affiliation of your employer has been added to the list of barriers to contraceptive access. Religious institutions have always posed barriers to women’s health. Our blog post by a family nurse practitioner working in the rural south highlights the convoluted hoops she has to jump through in order to provide her patients with contraception.
What can we do we now? We need to take action now to urge President Obama and Congress to come up with a plan to ensure that those affected by yesterday’s Supreme Court decision have access to basic health care – including contraception. Please join us in telling Congress and the President that contraception is basic health care. Access to contraception is non-negotiable. Tell your friends, family, and colleagues to take action too. Together we can ensure that everyone can access the reproductive health care they need.