HHS Ensures Affordable Contraception
ACLU Hails Decision to Counteract Discriminatory Practices for Essential Services WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced all new insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, as well as other critical preventive care like screening and counseling for domestic violence, without cost-sharing. This new measure makes effective birth control more affordable for millions of women by eliminating extra out-of-pocket expenses. The policies were recommended by an expert panel of the Institute of Medicine. “Contraception is basic health care for women,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. “Today’s landmark decision means affordable, effective contraception will no longer be out of reach for millions of women. Secretary Sebelius is acting in the best interests of American women, counteracting discriminatory practices denying women access to essential health care.” The Department of Health and Human Services is considering a proposal creating an opt-out from contraceptive coverage for certain religious entities. The ACLU remains committed to comprehensive access for women and will work to ensure that as this process goes forward, women’s health remains the primary concern, and women are not subjected to religious dictates that are not their own.