Thursday marked one year since the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit went into effect, ensuring that all women have access to affordable birth control, regardless of their employer.

Birth control is basic preventive care. An estimated 99 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some point in their lives, and nearly 60 percent of women who use birth control pills cite noncontraceptive health benefits as a contributing factor, such as treating endometriosis, a leading cause of infertility in women.

A new study released last week shows that giving women access to affordable birth control helped prevent 2.2 million unintended pregnancies in 2010, which would have resulted in 1.1 million unplanned births and 760,000 abortions.

Expanding access to birth control with no co-pays under the birth control benefit will save women and families up to $600 a year. This is not a revolutionary idea and is something that around 70 percent of Americans support — including nearly six out of 10 Catholics.

But not Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor..