Birth Control: Court Overturns Missouri Law Allowing Moral, Religious Coverage Exemptions

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Here's the full decision.

U.S. District Court - Audrey G. Fleissig, U.S. District Judge

And the full statement from Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri Praises Federal Ruling Striking Down Unconstitutional Missouri Anti-Birth Control Law

"This ruling ensures that all Missouri women -- no matter who their boss is - have access to basic preventive health care without a co-pay, including birth control."

St. Louis, Missouri--Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri released the following statement praising a federal court ruling that has struck down an unconstitutional Missouri law which would have allowed local employers to deny their employees access to affordable birth control as provided by the Affordable Care Act.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig cites a provision in the U.S. Constitution declaring that federal laws take precedence over contradictory state laws. Paula Gianino, President/CEO, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri:

"This is a victory for Missouri women and their families. This ruling ensures that all Missouri women -- no matter who their boss is -- have access to basic preventive health care without a co-pay, including birth control."

Public polling finds overwhelming support for women's access to birth control. Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services, according to an October 2012 poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Approximately 940,000 Missouri women stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act's preventive health care benefit, including access to no-copay birth control, which went into effect in August of last year.

Each year, Planned Parenthood health centers in Missouri see nearly 80,000 individuals for medical and educational services, including birth control. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood provides birth control for 2.5 million patients.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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