Washington, DC—Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the Affordability is Access Act.
“ACOG thanks Senator Murray for her introduction of the Affordability is Access Act and for her leadership in support of women’s access to reliable contraceptive care.
“Without question, contraception is an essential preventive service for millions of American women. It helps to avoid unintended pregnancy and also allows patients to control existing conditions before becoming pregnant, which can mean healthier pregnancies. Moreover, birth control can have important medical benefits outside of contraception.
“That’s why ACOG supports policies that increase the ability of women to get the birth control they need. We know that cost has historically been a barrier to access for too many women; by removing or reducing that barrier, we are able to give more women the ability to control their reproductive health and have families if and when they are ready.
“However, we know that some women still lack no-copay access to birth control. Supporting over the counter access to oral contraceptives helps uninsured women access the health benefits provided by oral contraceptives without the cost of a doctor’s visit. And, Senator Murray’s bill would ensure that women with insurance coverage can get their choice of oral birth control without a copay, even if they do not have a prescription.
“Importantly, overwhelming evidence supports the safe and effective use of oral birth control without a prescription. No medicine is without risk, but oral contraceptives have similar or lower risk of side effects than other types of medicines that are already available over the counter.
“Every day, obstetrician-gynecologists see the benefit that birth control provides women. Senator Murray’s bill will help American women, including many who are currently underserved. We look forward to working with Senator Murray and other members of the Senate to move this important bill forward.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org