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November 16, 2010

National Pro-Choice Group, State Affiliates Urge Panel to Make Contraception Available at No Cost to All Women

Washington, D.C. – Donna Crane, policy director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, testified today before a special panel appointed by the Institute of Medicine to discuss the question of whether contraception should be considered preventive care for purposes of the Mikulski amendment (also know as the Women’s Health Amendment) in the health-reform law. 

NARAL Pro-Choice America called for contraception to be made available to women at no cost in insurance plans that will be part of the new health-care system. All 21 NARAL state affiliates also signed onto the remarks that were submitted as part of the panel’s official record.

Crane said the new health-reform law’s promise of no-cost birth control would mark a major step forward in helping women prevent unintended pregnancy.

“In addition to bringing more than 30 million Americans into the health-care system, the federal health-reform law presents an unprecedented opportunity to improve women’s access to comprehensive, preventive reproductive-health care by ensuring the affordability of family-planning services for all women,” Crane said. “The current ‘system,’ such as it is, is expensive, uncoordinated, and, frankly, patchwork at best.  Consequently, the United States has a far higher unintended-pregnancy rate than other industrialized countries.  Nearly half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended, with more than three million unplanned pregnancies occurring each year.

Crane's complete remarks, as submitted to the panel, are available here.

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