Update: Fate of birth control insurance
June 29, 2012
UPDATE: Governor Jay Nixon rejected SB749, a bill that the predominately Republican Missouri Legislature passed in an attempt to undermine federal law. He will be applauded by Americans who believe that health insurance plans should cover birth control as preventative care with no additional co-pays and that this coverage should be available no matter where they work.

According to Planned Parenthood, nearly 700,000 women in Missouri use some form of birth control.

Sorry, Sarah, you lose:

Starting in August 2012, birth control will be treated like any other preventive prescription under the Affordable Care Act, and will be available without co-pays or deductibles to over 203,000 Missouri women – if Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoes SB749. He has until July 14 to veto the bill or it becomes law. The law was presented to the governor in May.

Now that the highest court in the nation has upheld access to birth control, Governor Nixon should veto SB749 which would undercut this popular, important women’s health provision,” said Mary Kogut, Vice President of Patient Services at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. “Why should women in Missouri have less health care coverage than women in other states?” Kogut asked.

Scott Rupp, Mike Parson, Jason Crowell, Brian Munzlinger, Jay Wasson, Victor Callahan and Tim Green--all men--were members of the Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee of the Missouri senate who apparently saw fit to approve SB 749 that would compromise the welfare of women and under the guise of religious freedom, seemingly benefit business interests. The bill's sponsor is John T. Lamping, a Republican from District 24, a part of St. Louis County.

Planned Parenthood believes that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act will have a "profound and concrete impact on millions of people's lives." Calling the it “the greatest advance in women’s health in a generation,” the group said the law will provide access to birth control and cancer screenings without co-pays, guaranteed direct access to OB/GYN providers without referrals, and an end to discriminatory practices against women, such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for “pre-existing conditions.”

“At Planned Parenthood, we know how important this law and this decision are for women and families, because we see the need for affordable health care every day. Women who come into Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to balance paying for birth control and health services with paying for textbooks, groceries, or gas for the car. The Affordable Care Act will make those decisions easier for women across the country,” Richards said.

To contact Gov. Nixon go here.

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri serves over 60,000 women, men and teens annually with lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman exams, education programs, STD prevention and treatment, and family planning services. In Joplin Planned Parenthood is located at 710 Illinois. For information about programs phone (417) 781-6500.

Laura Checkett contributed to this article

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