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Contraceptive Equity

Q: What is Contraceptive Equity?
A:  Contraceptive equity means simple fairness. If a health plan covers prescription drugs and devices, it has to cover contraception too. In 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that employers may not discriminate against women in their health insurance plans by denying benefits for prescription contraceptives, if they provide benefits for drugs, devices and services used to prevent other medical conditions. This decision was reinforced by a federal court decision, Erickson v. The Bartell Company, in June 2001.

Q: What prompted the EEOC's ruling?
A: The EEOC decision was issued in response to complaints filed by two women who claimed that their employers discriminated against them by not providing health insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives. The EEOC held that these plans discriminated on the basis of sex and pregnancy, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Even though this decision applies only to the women who filed these specific cases, courts are likely to will follow the commission's ruling in future contraceptive coverage cases.

For more information,

National Women�s Law Center�s Pill4USCampaign

Planned Parenthood�s Fair Access to Contraception Campaign

Center for Reproductive Law and Policy

National Partnership for Women and Families

Family Planning Advocates of New York State, Inc. at

For information specific to New York click here. 

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This site last updated on Friday, December 10, 2004