Gender Justice event highlights importance of birth control access

Sep 12, 2018

The executive director of Gender Justice made a stop at Minnesota State University Moorhead as part of an ongoing campaign to protect affordable access to birth control.

Megan Peterson says this is the third event she's put on so far, and it's the first one she's done on a college campus. She says Gender Justice is a national campaign whose purpose is to educate people of the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act, which gives access to birth control without a co-pay. Peterson says while this benefit has improved women's access to birth control and health care, it's currently "under attack" by the Trump Administration.

"You know, we know that birth control is extremely common, almost all women will use birth control at some point in their lives, whether it's to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or for any number of other health issues from endometriosis to migraines. It's extremely common. It shouldn't be political, it shouldn't be controversial, it should be seen as part of preventative health care and should be made affordable so people can plan their families, and their lives, their careers, their educations - so they don't have to worry about an unintended pregnancy."

Peterson says the idea of this benefit being taken away might be scary to some people, but there are ways people can get involved.

"So what we can do is both make sure that our federal elected officials know that this is a benefit of the Affordable Care Act that is important to us, and we can also ask our state policy makers to pass state level laws that would provide the same coverage so that no matter what happens to the federal benefit, the state would still require that birth control be covered co-pay free by health insurance."

Peterson says one of the key features of this campaign is asking people to share their stories about how birth control has allowed them to chart their own education, careers and family plans.