Birth Control: Nuestra Salud, Nuestra Prevención Campaign

A key part of the health care reform law that Congress passed last year will require new health insurance plans to fully cover women’s preventive healthcare services with no co-pays for their members. The law expressly includes women’s routine screenings, such as mammograms and pap tests, some screenings for all pregnant women, but prescription birth control was not included.

We think birth control is preventive care. Don't you?

It is now up to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to define the full list of services, which will be classified as women’s preventive services, including a decision about whether contraception is included. HHS has asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study this matter and to make recommendations about which preventive healthcare services including prescription birth control, should be included as women’s preventive care without out-of-pocket costs.

There are many important issues affecting Latinas today, and one of them is accessing birth control at no cost. Contraception is a critical component of both public health initiatives and women’s healthcare, and for millions of Latinas, birth control, by definition, is prevention.

What is at stake

Presently, half of women already delay or avoid preventive care due to its associated costs:

  • According to the Guttmacher Institute, on average, women spend roughly five years trying to become pregnant and 30 years trying to prevent pregnancy.
  • Also, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 50% of women age 18-34, including Latinas, say there has been a time when cost of prescription birth control interfered with their ability to use it consistently.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than 17 million women needed publicly-funded contraceptives in 2006 because they could not afford it on their own, and that number continues to grow.

Contraception is a critical component of both public health initiatives and women’s health care, and for millions of Latinas, birth control, by definition, is prevention.

In August of this year, IOM will make a recommendation to HHS about the full list of services to be considered preventative care, and to be available to women with no out-of-pocket cost.

We want birth control on that list, which is why we need you.

What you can do

  • Sign our petition demanding that birth control be covered as preventive care;
  • Join our email list, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog to learn more about the campaign;
  • Blog about why birth control should be considered preventive care;
  • Ask your friends and colleagues to join the campaign!

For Latinos, often interpersonal warmth is very important. Because dichos or, Spanish sayings are important in Latino culture and can facilitate communication, we'll use a dicho each month to share the stories of Latinas and their experience with contraception as it relates to that dicho. Check out the sidebar each month to see what the dicho is, and visit our blog to read about how these dichos connect to our campaign. 

Throughout the next six months we'll be introducing new ways to get involved in this campaign. Stay tuned and please join us!