Contraception is basic preventive health care for women—a simple truth that is too often lost in our national political discourse. To put facts squarely back into the debate, Guttmacher is launching a short, animated video titled "Benefits of Contraceptive Use in the United States." The video highlights that proper timing and spacing of births leads to healthier pregnancies; that contraception, when used consistently, is highly effective at preventing unintended pregnancy; and that cost can be a barrier to a woman using the contraceptive method that's right for her.

You can watch the video on our YouTube channel. And be sure to let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page.

The video is timely, too, as new insurance coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act are taking effect this week: Specifically, most private health plans written on or after August 1 will cover a range of women's preventive health services—including contraceptive counseling and all FDA-approved contraceptive methods—without additional out-of-pocket costs to patients. Large numbers of women and couples will likely start benefiting in January 2013, when the new plan year for many health insurance policies takes effect.

This contraceptive coverage guarantee is a significant gain for women's health for a number of reasons.

Our video aims to ensure that these and other key facts help inform the way policymakers, the media and the public discuss contraception—as basic preventive health care that benefits women, their children and families, and society overall.

We encourage you to share this video with your friends, family and colleagues to help ensure that our national debate is guided by facts, not misinformation. And please visit Guttmacher's Facebook page to let us know what you think.

Click here to watch "Benefits of Contraceptive Use in the United States"

For more information:

Facts on contraceptive use in the United States

The case for insurance coverage of contraceptive services and supplies without cost-sharing

Contraceptive use is the norm among religious women