October 11, 2017

CT ObGyn group opposes ruling rolling back contraceptive coverage

Women's Health Connecticut (WHC), an Avon-based practice of 250 ObGyn providers, said it has grave concerns about the Trump administration's move to roll back the birth control mandate created under the Affordable Care Act, worrying that limiting access to free birth control may harm women and result in more unwanted pregnancies and elective abortions.

WHC -- which serves several hundred thousand women in Connecticut annually -- said the new policy, effective immediately, allows any employer to deny contraceptive coverage based on religious or moral objection and reverses the requirement under the Affordable Care Act to provide FDA-approved contraception at no cost. WHC plans to appeal to state and federal legislators and will work to educate its patients and encourage those who share WHC's stance to speak up.

"Connecticut's unwanted pregnancy rate has declined in recent years, particularly among teens," said Matthew Saidel, a practicing ObGyn and WHC's chief medical officer. "While we understand that some companies may have philosophical reasons for limiting access to affordable birth control, our group is collectively concerned that others may use this as a way to reduce their insurance costs, to the great detriment of so many of our patients. These medications are also used for important medical indications such as treating the pain of endometriosis, and to prevent debilitating hemorrhage with menses."

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