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March 16, 2012

Statement on Obama Administration’s Next Step on Contraceptive Coverage

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the Obama administration’s proposed process for implementing its contraceptive-coverage policy reinforces the White House’s commitment to women’s health.

“Today the Obama administration took the next step in making sure women get insurance coverage of contraception,” Keenan said. “This fair-minded process reinforces President Obama’s thoughtful approach to working with health-care providers and other employers to ensure that we achieve the ultimate goal of improving women’s lives. The American public stands strongly behind the president as he and his team make the promise of near-universal contraceptive coverage a reality.”

Keenan also said that, even though Americans support contraceptive coverage, some opponents of birth control would continue to attack this policy. The rule allows religiously affiliated organizations, including hospitals and universities, to refuse to pay for contraceptive coverage while ensuring that women who work at these groups get the coverage through other means and without additional barriers. Additionally, the administration today finalized a rule that ensures coverage of preventive-health services and contraceptives for students.

“Unfortunately, some politicians and their allies want to take away contraceptive coverage from nurses, janitors, administrative staff, and college instructors,” Keenan said. “They risk losing even more public support if they continue to politicize women’s health through legislative attacks or mean-spirited and disparaging rhetoric on talk radio or in other channels.”

Keenan also said her organization continues to mobilize its member activists in support of the administration’s contraceptive-coverage policy. Last month, NARAL Pro-Choice America spent approximately $250,000 to air radio ads in support of the policy in four states: Colorado, Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, the group channeled more than 70,000 email messages and thousands of paid patch-through calls to Senate offices in a successful effort to help defeat a far-reaching attack on birth control proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). The Blunt amendment would have allowed insurers and corporations to deny employees coverage for contraception or any health-care service required under the health-reform law they oppose.

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