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Birth Control

Improving access to birth control is at the heart of our efforts to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion. For the 98 percent of American women who use some form of contraception during their lives, birth control is basic, essential health care. More than 40 million women of reproductive age are sexually active and want to prevent unintended pregnancy. [Guttmacher Institute, Facts in Brief: Contraceptive Use (Feb. 2005)]

Unfortunately, 40 years after the Supreme Court struck down a ban on birth control, the far right still tries to block women’s access to contraception. Below are just a few examples of the obstacles to improving women’s access to birth control:

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after" pill, is simply a concentrated dose of ordinary birth-control pills. If taken within 72 hours of sex, it is highly effective in preventing pregnancy. It is especially critical for victims of sexual assault or for women whose primary method of birth control fails. The NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota Foundation completed a survey of South Dakota pharmacies, seeking businesses that supply emergency contraception to consumers. A copy of the survey can be found by clicking here.

Family Planning Services
Millions of Americans lack health insurance. For many of them, federally subsidized family-planning services are the only source of health care. Good family-planning programs ensure that women have access to contraception and that they can raise healthy, happy families when they choose to do so. Despite widespread public support and the importance of these services to American women and their families, anti-choice politicians have starved the program for funding and attacked it politically at every turn.

Click here for contact information about South Dakota Family Planning Programs from the Department of Health.

Access to Prescription Birth Control
In theory, the concept is simple: a woman walks into a pharmacy with her prescription and walks out with her medicine. However, renegade pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill legal, valid prescriptions for birth control and state legislators are proposing bills that would permit this discrimination against women.

Insurance Coverage for Prescription Birth Control
While most insurers generally cover prescription drugs, not all insurers cover all prescription contraceptives. As a result, women pay roughly 68 percent more in out-of-pocket medical expenses than men, mostly due to their reproductive-health needs. Insurance plans that cover prescription drugs should cover prescription birth control equally. It's that simple. NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota has joined other women's organizations in South Dakota in lobbying for prescription equity in the South Dakota legislature.

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