As of August 1st, 2012, the Affordable Care Act will require most insurance plans to cover contraception services without co-pays or deductibles as part of women's preventive care—with exceptions for certain religious organizations. Here's what women across the country had to say about the new policy:
"My contraception was covered by a state plan when I was younger and now as an adult my employer's insurance covers my contraception. Without those options I'd have significantly less money for necessities and a substantial increase in unintended pregnancy! I feel blessed to have contraceptive coverage—I have plenty of other health decisions to worry about."
"I will be able to afford the birth control that works the best for my body instead of the birth control that works the best for my budget."
"This is a great accomplishment by the President. I am Jewish, but my dad works for a Catholic hospital. Because of this, birth control was not covered for me while I was on my parent's health insurance. I had to spend a lot more money than the average woman for contraception. Thank you President Obama. Because of you, women who are in the same situation I was will be able to afford birth control."
"I am on and have been on birth control for 15 years, since the age of 13 for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. My current birth control costs me $45 per month with insurance—which, in addition to other prescriptions that I need to take daily, is not affordable. I'm very excited for this policy to take effect—now I won't have to decide whether to purchase my birth control or groceries."
—Ashleigh, New York
"I'm a 20-year-old struggling college student. Pregnancy is the last issue I need to worry about between working almost full time and being a full time student. This new policy will give me peace of mind that I'll always have that extra means of precaution available."
"This is a huge benefit for so many women in this country … I have switched to generic birth control to help with the cost … New generations of educated and powerful women want to take control of their own bodies and lives. This is just one more step towards that goal. Keep up the great strides!"
"It will save me $27 a month, which doesn't seem like much, but when everything else is so expensive, this will help my paycheck last a little longer … Thank you President Obama and your incredible administration. And for the record, I'm Catholic."
What do new contraceptive guidelines in the Affordable Care Act mean to you? Share your story here.