Sandra Fluke testifies before a congressional panel in favor of private insurance companies covering costs of contraception.
Sandra Fluke testifies before a congressional panel in favor of private insurance companies covering costs of contraception.

Editor’s note: Sandra Fluke is a third-year law student at Georgetown University Law Center and has served as president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

By Sandra Fluke, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Last month, students from several Catholic universities gathered to send a message to the nation that contraception is basic health care. I was among them, and I was proud to share the stories of my friends at Georgetown Law who have suffered dire medical consequences because our student insurance does not cover contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

I joined these students in speaking at a media event because I believe that stories of how real women are affected are the most powerful argument for access to affordable, quality reproductive health care services.

I also joined these students because now is a critical time to raise this issue in our public consciousness.

Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, preventive care services, including contraception, will be covered by private insurance plans without co-pays or deductibles. If appropriately implemented, this important law will finally guarantee women access to contraception, regardless of the religious affiliation of their workplace or school.

By now, many have heard the stories I wanted to share thanks to the congressional leaders and members of the media who have supported me and millions of women in speaking out.

Read Sandra Fluke’s full column