Medical students and physicians from across the state of California made their way to Sacramento last week to advocate for legislation that would improve access to safe, reliable birth control. The bill, SB 999, would require all health care service plans and insurers to cover up to 12-months of FDA-approved contraception when dispensed at one time.
Physicians for Reproductive Health partnered with TEACH — Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare – to participate in the advocacy day. Our group visited 16 legislative offices, both Democratic and Republican, which included a meeting with Governor Jerry Brown’s Legislative Director for Health, Donna Campbell. A number of our advocates also rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in support of repealing the Maximum Family Grant Rule, which denies basic needs subsidies for children born to women receiving CalWorks grants.
As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Zubik v. Burwell, dozens of reproductive rights supporters rallied on the Court steps – with hundreds more joining online in a #HandsOffMyBC digital rally. Members of Physicians for Reproductive Health, including Physicians’ Jodi Magee, attended the hearing.
At stake in Zubik is whether their employers can make it more difficult, if not impossible, for women to access essential birth control coverage. Access to contraception is critical to the health and well-being of women. That’s why, earlier this year, Physicians for Reproductive Health joined with numerous medical groups – including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Nurses Association – to file an amicus brief before the Court in the case.
As the brief explains: “Decisions concerning contraceptive use, like all health care decisions, should be made by patients in consultation with their health care professionals based on the best interests of the patient. This is best accomplished when contraceptive coverage is provided within the same overall framework as a woman’s other health care services in consultation with a woman’s chosen provider.”
Join in the rally on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #HandsOffMyBC.