In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in the United States. It was intended to be a time for us to show respect and appreciation of how mothers make our families and our society stronger.
But the respect that we show for our mothers should be about more than a bouquet of flowers or a nice brunch on one day out of the year, and it shouldn’t end when the clock strikes midnight this Sunday.
Respecting and appreciating women and mothers should, for example, mean allowing us to make our own decisions about when we become mothers, or have another child.
And that means keeping birth control copay free.
While Mother’s Day was designated over 100 years ago, it wasn’t until 2014 that major reforms included in the Affordable Care Act resulted in an end to discrimination against women in health care. The ACA also established birth control as preventive healthcare. This made birth control, and all other preventive healthcare services, copay free.
So today, over 62 million Americans are able to get copay free birth control, saving them and their families $1.4 billion in just one year. It’s clear that when women, mothers, have access to affordable birth control we all benefit. Consider that 33% of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptives.
Even though 99 percent of sexually active women in the U.S. use one or more forms of birth control in their lifetime and 77 percent of married women use birth control, some want to roll back the clock.
Donald Trump directed Health and Human Services to re-examine the copay-free contraception benefit — and they have issued new rules rescinding the benefit. What does this mean for mothers and women? Currently one in three women say they could not afford to pay more than $10 for birth control if they had to buy it today, and the cost of birth control would increase by as much as $1,100 per year if copay-free birth control goes away.
Others are pushing to put government or bosses at work, instead of women and mothers, in charge of decisions about whether insurance covers birth control.
So this Mother’s Day take some time to honor and appreciate your mother. And show mothers and women the respect they deserve every day of the year by empowering us to make our own decisions about birth control and helping keep it copay free.