As we mark the 50th anniversary of the approval of the birth control pill by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1960, we must ensure that women in the U.S. have access to effective, affordable contraception, regardless of their ability to pay or the kind of insurance they have. Why? Half of all pregnancies in America are still unplanned, and the rate is highest among teens. Ensuring affordable contraception is one of the most crucial investments we can make in women, so they can achieve their hopes for themselves and their families when it comes to family life, career, education and so much more.
The birth control pill was more than just a pill — it was a pathway for women to seek higher education, enter the work force and be able to control the number and spacing of their children. Moreover, in the past 50 years, the percentage of women who die as a result of pregnancy dropped by half. During that same period, there has been a more than threefold decline in the rate of infant deaths. The percentage of unplanned pregnancies has also declined, despite the fact that too many still occur. And, as access to contraception has increased, the rate of abortion has decreased.
There is no better way to build on the progress of the pill than by ensuring that quality contraception is covered as preventive care under the new health care reform law. To make your voice heard, please visit http://www.ppaction.org/.