Statement of Eleanor
Smeal, President, of the Feminist Majority Foundation, concerning Obama
Administration Moving Forward in Providing Women Contraceptive Services
April 2, 2012
The Feminist Majority Foundation welcomed the release by the Departments
of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, of advance notice of
proposed rule-making on preventive services policy that would ensure
employees and students at religiously affiliated institutions receive
the benefits of the Affordable Care Act preventive care package,
including contraceptive coverage without co-pays or deductibles. The
advance notice includes a 90-day comment period for input from the
public. Once again the Obama administration shows its strong support for
women's preventive health care coverage and its skill in moving forward.
The Obama administration is realizing the President's commitment that
"No woman's health should depend on who she is, or where she works, or
how much money she makes." What's more, the Obama administration is
ensuring that students at religiously affiliated institutions have
insurance coverage that includes the entire preventive care package,
including contraceptives, without co-pays and deductibles.
The released advance rule guidelines simply implement and provide
options which ensure that religiously affiliated institutions who object
to this preventive care will not have to pay for it or administer it.
In addition, the Obama Administration announced today that under the
Affordable Care Act, student health plans will have the same protections
as required for individual insurance policies, including full coverage
of preventive services without co-pays or deductibles and a prohibition
on lifetime limits.
percent of women, at some time during their lives, need access to
contraceptives, but approximately half of them today cannot afford it.
Now finally the vast majority of insured women will have access without
co-pays or deductibles. This is a win-win solution. We are determined
that political opponents of the Affordable Care Act will not take the
preventive care package away from women. The Affordable Care Act is
ensuring that women are not discriminated against in health care.
The Affordable Care Act preventive care package now includes the
following without co-pays or deductibles: approved contraceptives both
for birth control and for treatment of several illnesses, as well as
annual well-woman visits and cancer screenings, counseling, such as for
domestic and interpersonal violence, testing for HIV and STIs,
breastfeeding support, and lactation services and supplies.