On Friday, October 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules impacting access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Trump administration released two rules that would allow virtually ANY employer to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees, or any university to deny students such coverage based on religious or moral objection. This threatens health care for students on our campus and across the country.
Middlebury College must stand up for their students and affirm that they value young people’s health, choices, and bodily autonomy.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, being able to get birth control before age 21 has been found to be the most influential factor in enabling women already in college to stay in college. Birth control has been estimated to account for more than 30 percent of the increase in the proportion of women in skilled careers from 1970 to 1990. Before the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision went into effect, 57 percent of young women aged 18 to 34 struggled to afford prescription birth control. Furthermore, birth control access is vital for members of our community beyond just those who identify as women, as it used for a variety of reasons beyond contraceptive purposes, such as for hormonal regulation.
School administrators at Middlebury College need to stand up for their students and pledge to protect their access to birth control. We deserve access to this essential health care and we’re going to fight to protect it. As a student, I’m going to do all I can to hold our administration accountable to their students.
• Sponsored by Feminist Action at Middlebury •
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