Richmond, VA-Yesterday’s debate between Congressional candidates Barbara Comstock and John Foust highlighted how out of touch Comstock is. While discussing a broad range of issues including transportation and education, Comstock indicated she does not believe affordable access to contraception is an important economic issue for the women of Virginia.
“More than 48 million women nationally are already eligible for the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, and they refuse to go back to paying out-of-pocket for contraceptives,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Executive Director. “Without the birth control benefit, women would be forced to pay out-of-pocket for their birth control, costing upwards of $600 a year. To ignore that basic reproductive health care is an economic issue simply shows that Comstock just doesn’t get it.”
Studies show that out-of-pocket costs related to birth control are a major barrier to access. More than half of all American women voters ages 18 to 34 report having struggled with the cost of birth control at some point, and as a result, have used birth control inconsistently. Women need to be able to work with their health care provider to find the best method for them-including IUDs that are often most effective but can cost more than $1,000 and must be administered by a health care professional. Women around the country confide in staff at Planned Parenthood health centers that when they do not have enough money for both birth control and food for their kids, birth control is the expense that must be cut.
“It comes as no surprise that Ms. Comstock does not recognize affordable access to contraception as an important economic issue for the women and families of the Commonwealth,” said Stewart-Reid. “She consistently voted against reproductive health during her time in the Virginia General Assembly. Voters should not expect anything different should she be elected to Congress.”
Virginians need elected officials who will vote to protect their access to health care. Barbara Comstock’s record is evidence that she will advance her ideological position in spite of the women across the Commonwealth who desire access to a full range of reproductive health care options.