Ms. CHU. For women of color, access to birth control can mean the difference between life or death. Without birth control, they face more reproductive cancers, more unintended pregnancies, and more sexually transmitted infections. And because many times they can't afford to pay for health care, such diseases have a more disproportionate effect.
Without affordable health care--and birth control being part of that health care--women's health is at risk. In fact, birth control pills prevent 200,000 ovarian deaths and 100,000 deaths overall for women. Without birth control being covered, out-of-pocket costs for women and their health care needs can be up to $600 per year. It's like a tax on women. That's not fair.
That's why I support President Obama's decision that birth control should be part of all health care plans. Women do not have to be second-class citizens.