this fight for reliable contraception is not new—the owners of hobby lobby notoriously objected to having a health insurance plan that covered birth control. but especially now, with a national spotlight on deep-rooted racial inequalities and at a time when many companies are internally addressing their own systemic issues that have hampered advancement and inclusion, planned parenthood says it’s more important than ever that companies make this commitment to their employees.
of black women believe the ability to plan if and when they have children is important to their ability to pursue their career goals, and yet disproportionate barriers to health care affect that access. of black women between 18 and 44 say they can’t afford more than $10 a month for birth control, were they to have to pay out of pocket. affordable birth control not only improves a woman’s own welfare, from her education to her earning power—it provides family and societal gains as well; family planning programs in the u.s. to a drop in the share of children and adults in poverty.
“birth control helps address systemic inequities and advance inclusion in the workplace,” says nadia khamis, director of corporate engagement at planned parenthood federation of america, in an email. “companies have an important opportunity to use their policies, advocacy and influence to support birth control access.”
has found that for women born from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s, access to birth control accounts for one-third of their total wage gains since the 1960s. The pill allowed them to get more work experience and more education.