This Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the birth control pill, and while we’ve come a long way in the six decades since the pill became FDA-approved, the fight for birth control access is far from over.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court heard a case regarding Trump administration rules that would allow any employer or university with moral or religious objections to exclude birth control from their health plans. The Court hasn’t ruled on a decision yet, but the case could set a dangerous precedent. One of the advantages of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that the law provides birth control coverage with no out-of-pocket costs. If these new rules go into effect, millions of women could lose their birth control coverage and find themselves priced out when they’re suddenly left to pay for a previously covered health service. As we recently wrote, reproductive health care is facing an even greater threat with the country being in the middle of a public health crisis. This Supreme Court case could further put women at risk.
Despite what the current case before the Supreme Court might suggest, public perception around birth control has evolved: 87% of adults think that birth control should be considered an essential health service. Having the full range of access to birth control isn’t just about preventing unplanned pregnancies—studies show that increased contraception access has resulted in economic gains for women, too. One-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptives.
We believe that women should have access and control over their reproductive health. That’s the fundamental reason why we started Pill Club. The latest attempts to limit women’s health choices are deeply concerning, but we’re not powerless in our ability to take a stand against these egregious policies (even if we are still sheltering-in-place). You can, too. Now is the time to call and put pressure on your representatives in Congress; to join a virtual protest in support of reproductive justice; and to continue to exercise your voice by voting in your state primaries and the upcoming general election.
On this 60th anniversary of the pill, let’s celebrate the gains we’ve made in favor of women’s reproductive freedom. But let’s not forget that until birth control is recognized as a fundamental right for all women, no matter their needs, our work is not yet done.