Planned Parenthood asks companies to pledge to guarantee employee birth control coverage

McKesson Ventures portfolio company Hims & Hers is one of the first 12 national companies signing on to a pledge to guarantee employee birth control coverage, whether or not they are required to do so by law.

Currently, under the Affordable Care Act, most employers are mandated to cover employees’ contraceptives through company health plans, but a forthcoming Supreme Court decision could change that. The court is planning to rule on two Trump administration rules that would allow employers and universities to deny health coverage for birth control due to “religious” or “moral” objections to doing so.

The companies that have made the pledge so far are Amalgamated Bank, Argent, Bad Robot Productions, CREDO Mobile, Female Quotient, Jaya Apparel Group, Hims & Hers, Postmates, the Helm, the Lede Company, Trillium Asset Management, and Tumblr. These employers together have more than 600,000 employees in industries from digital health to retail and media. Building on the momentum, Planned Parenthood’s “Businesses for Birth Control 2020” campaign is looking for more commitments.

Planned Parenthood is asking companies to commit to covering birth control, not only because birth control is essential but because this is a business and human rights issue. With access to contraception, women can have control over family planning and invest in their careers. Research shows that for women born in the mid-1940s to the early 1950s, access to birth control accounts for a third of their total wage gains since the 1960s.

Birth control access is also a racial equality issue. Almost 70 percent of Black women believe the ability to plan if and when they have children makes a big difference in their ability to pursue their career goals. But nearly 40 percent of Black women between ages 18 and 44 say they can’t afford more than $10 a month for birth control if they have to pay out of pocket.

“Birth control helps address systemic inequities and advance inclusion in the workplace,” Nadia Khamis, director of corporate engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Fast Company. “Companies have an important opportunity to use their policies, advocacy, and influence to support birth control access.”

Thank you to Hims & Hers for stepping up to support an important national initiative.

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