National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health praises White House commitment to contraceptive coverage
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) today praised President Obama’s accommodation on the “religious exemption” clause. The new policy protects women’s health by ensuring they have seamless access to birth control without expensive co-pays while providing accommodation to religiously affiliated employers.
“As Latinas, we support President Obama’s change to the religious exemption clause. The new approach puts a priority on women’s reproductive health by eliminating the barrier of co-pays,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “Any public health policy that gives Latinas easier access to contraception is a step forward for us.”
Latinas face a number of barriers to reproductive health, including language barriers, immigration status, lack of insurance and poverty. More than half of Latinas ages 18 to 34 report that the cost of prescription birth control has kept them from using it consistently, according to Hart Research Associates. NLIRH research shows that Latinas want the full range of birth control options to be available to them. Birth control use is nearly universal in the United States, including among sexually experienced Catholics.
Policies that restrict access to contraception, such as the recent bill put forward by Senator Marco Rubio, are in direct conflict with the health care that Latinas are seeking.
“We thank President Obama for standing strong for women’s health,” González-Rojas said.
As the details of this process emerge, NLIRH will continue to urge the Administration to avoid complicated, or stigmatizing, pathways to coverage that could delay or reduce access to care or expose the employee to retribution from her employer.