Katie Couric's Notebook: The Pill

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, a tiny tablet that revolutionized women's health.

But before we break out the cake and streamers, we should remember the pill is still off limits to millions of American women.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, roughly 17.4 million low-income women need publicly-funded contraception but only 9.4 million are receiving it. As many as 8 million lack adequate care.

Planned Parenthood and other groups are trying to address this gap by encouraging the government to define contraception as preventive medicine, so it's covered under health care reform at little or no cost to the patient.

Insurance companies might balk at that idea, but with half of all pregnancies still unplanned, it deserves careful consideration.

After 50 years of safe, effective birth control, it's too easy to overlook those who can't afford it. We've come a long way, baby... but not far enough.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.

  • Katie Couric

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