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Poll Shows Support For Birth Control as a Preventive Service



October 20, 2010

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A new poll shows listing prescription birth control as a preventive service is a popular idea. The poll (done for Planned Parenthood) found more than 70 percent of respondents say it should be added to the list of preventive care services to be provided for free under the new health reform law.

Paula Gianino with Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region says free coverage of birth control is widely supported by men and women.

"And by covering these basic services, it can provide a tremendous cushion of support for couples who are really thinking about their future and about becoming parents in the future. "

Anti-birth control groups and Catholic leaders want to eliminate all coverage, saying it prevents a pregnancy not a disease. But Gianino points out the polling also shows 77 percent of Catholic women say that prescription birth control should be covered without any out-of-pocket expenses. The Obama administration will be making its decision on the issue next year.

Gianino says birth control is often a starting point for women to take care of their overall health.

"And in the midst of that visit, we are not only prescribing the most appropriate method of birth control, if that's what a woman is seeking, but we're also doing a whole host of other baseline preventative kind of testing and diagnosis which is just critical for women's health and well being. "

While polling shows big support for including birth control in the list of free preventive services, Planned Parenthood is still trying to collect a million signatures in support of adding it to the list of approved services.

Heather Claybrook/Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MO