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Women Small Business Owners Say Access to Birth Control is Important to their Success, Support Continued Coverage

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Friday, 13 October, 2017

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded contraceptive coverage to more than 62 million women by requiring most health insurance plans, including most employer-sponsored plans, to cover birth control. With the recent move by the Trump administration to roll back this requirement, it’s important to understand the perspective of one of the most important, and fastest growing, segments of our economy: women small business owners.

A recent scientific opinion poll conducted for Small Business Majority by Lake Research Partners and American Viewpoint found women small business owners support coverage of birth control for employees and cite birth control access as an important factor in their own ability to advance their career and become small business owners.

The poll, which surveyed 507 women small business owners nationwide, including oversamples of 100 African-American and Latina small business owners, found reproductive healthcare is especially important to women entrepreneurs. Specifically, the poll found more than 7 in 10 (71%) female entrepreneurs agree that health insurance issuers should be required to include birth control coverage in their health plans, with a majority (54%) in strong agreement. Further, 69% of female small business owners are supportive of policies that ensure and expand access to birth control.

Indeed, according to this survey, the vast majority of female business owners agree (79%) that access to reproductive healthcare is important for women’s economic wellbeing and stability. An additional 79% agree (61% of whom strongly agree) we need to ensure all women have access to affordable reproductive healthcare as a basic economic issue for our families.

Female small business owners support access to birth control for their employees and also feel that access to reproductive healthcare has been critical to their ability to start a business. Fifty-six percent of women small business owners agree that their ability to access birth control and to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their career and start their own business, and 52% agree this access impacts their ability to grow their business.

Key Findings

Women small business owners believe insurance companies should be required to include birth control in their health plans: 71% of female small business owners agree that insurers should be required to include birth control coverage in their health plans, with 54% of respondents strongly agreeing to this statement.

Female entrepreneurs feel strongly that health coverage should include birth control

Do you agree or disagree that the health insurance issuers should be required to include birth control coverage in their health plans?

Large majority of women small business owners support policies that ensure and expand access to birth control: 69% of respondents support policies that would increase women’s access to birth control, with 50% of respondents strongly supporting such policies.

Vast majority of female small business owners feel that access to birth control is important for women’s economic empowerment and well-being: Female small business owners understand that access to birth control is an economic issue for many women, and thus many small business owners and employees, with 79% of respondents agreeing that access to birth control is important to financial well-being. The same percentage, 79%, also agree that we need to ensure all women have access to affordable reproductive healthcare as a basic economic issue.

Women entrepreneurs believe access to reproductive healthcare is essential to women’s economic security and wellbeing 

Female entrepreneurs believe access to birth control was critical to their ability to start a business and make career choices: 56% of respondents agree that their access to birth control and to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their career and start their business. Additionally, almost two-thirds of female small business owners (63%) say that access to birth control impacts their family’s economic security.

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