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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Court ruling a victory for Missouri women

By Melissa Needles
March 19, 2013 | 4:13 p.m. CDT

It is encouraging that a federal judge has struck down an unconstitutional Missouri law which would have allowed local employers to deny their employees access to affordable birth control as provided by the Affordable Care Act. The ruling ensures that all Missouri women, no matter where they live or who their boss is, have access to basic preventive health care without a co-pay, including birth control.

This is a victory for Missouri women and their families. The court ruling confirms that this is a decision for women, not their bosses, to make. Bosses don’t have to take birth control, and they don’t have to pay for it — and thanks to the federal-court ruling, they can’t decide whether the women who work for them are able to have birth control covered by their insurance like any other prescription. The Missouri legislature and Attorney General Chris Koster should take notice of this ruling and focus on fixing the economy and creating new jobs — not attacking Missouri citizens’ ability to access preventive health care.

Approximately 940,000 Missouri women stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s preventive health care benefit, including access to no-copay birth control, which went into effect in August of last year.

Melissa Needles is an MU student studying international studies.