A national reproductive health advocacy organization for Latinas has stood behind the Institute of Medicine’s decision to include birth control services in its list of preventative care measures.

The Institute was recently tasked with presenting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with a list of services that should be included in a list of preventative services. These services, under the new health care reform law, would essentially be free. No co-payments would be required when receiving women’s health services such as Pap smears and breast exams.

The Institute announced yesterday it was including birth control in its list of services.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health said in a statement today that this decision “put Latinas one step closer to being able to more easily build healthier families and communities.”

“Contraception is a critical component of both public health initiatives and women’s health care, and for millions of Latinas, birth control, by definition, is prevention,” the group said. “Presently, half of women already delay or avoid preventive care due to its associated costs.”

A Latina advocacy group for reproductive justice based in Miami has recently taken up this issue. The organization is hoping women will come together to petition Sebelius asking her to follow through with the Institute’s recommendation. MI LOLA has launched a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the issue.

A member of MI LOLA recently told The Florida Independent that “birth control is most definitely part of preventative care” and should be offered free of co-payments from insurance companies.

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