Monday, July 25, 2011

Jasmine Hughes: Should You Have to Pay for Someone Else’s Birth Control?

By JasmineHughes
There’s a new discussion regarding one of today’s most controversial topics: birth control. In the past, it has been questioned why birth control pills are currently not covered by most private insurance plans, but products like Viagra are. It seems change may be coming soon. This week, the non-partisan Institute of Medicine recommended that health insurers reclassify women’s contraceptives as “preventive care” and cover them without requiring a co-payment under the Affordable Care Act.
The report, commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services, was intended to provide “a road map for improving the health and well-being of women,” committee chair Linda Rosenstock, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a statement.
The report also recommends HIV screening, counseling on sexually transmitted infections, screening for gestational diabetes, support for breast-feeding mothers, yearly preventive care visits, counseling and prevention of domestic violence, and counseling to prevent unintended pregnancies.
Reactions to this announcement were clearly and expectedly segregated.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “Making birth control available with no co-pays will significantly increase access to birth control for millions more women and help reduce the high number of unintended pregnancies in this country.”

“Half of all pregnancies that happen in the U.S. every year are unintended,” Dr. Deborah Nucatola, an OB-GYN who is the senior director for medical services for Planned Parenthood, told NPR. “And if we could prevent an epidemic of this proportion, that should be justification enough that contraception is preventive care.”

But the others disagreed. Deirdre McQuade, spokesperson for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued in a statement saying: “The Conference has a particular concern that contraceptives and sterilization not be mandated as ‘preventive’ services. To prevent pregnancy is not to prevent a disease… In addition, contraceptives and sterilization are morally problematic for many stakeholders, including religiously affiliated health care providers and insurers.”

The Family Research Council is also opposed the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation about birth control, saying that having insurance companies cover any contraceptive was tantamount to forcing taxpayers to pay for other people’s abortions.

But, as Erin Gloria Ryan from Jezebel points out, easily accessible, reliable birth control would reduce the number of abortions in America, not increase them. People aren’t currently allowed to opt out of paying for programs with which they disagree. Why should this particular aspect of health care be any different?
So the question remains: Should birth control be completely covered by insurance, without a co-payment? Or is it wrong to make everyone pay for an option that not everyone uses?

About jasminesnroses

Hello World. I'm a recent graduate of Rutgers University, trying to make my mark. I have many interests, curiosities and ideas. All of which can be found here. So stick around =)
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Anonymous said...

this is an old argument. this goes beyond the title of the article. What also should be questioned is how urgent women's medical care and reproductive rights in comparison to men's medical care and rights. Men's sexual needs were put in the forefront while women's basic reproductive rights were put on the back, back, burner for years.

It is an issue of do we as society pay now or pay later. Women who will probably utilize this opportunity of free birth control are potential single mothers and women on the lower end of the economic level. Please correct me if I am wrong with this. So the children being brought up in this environment may become society's problem child. These people will also be on WIC and food stamps and state medical card. Which we the tax payer is funding right now...

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem contributing to the US Medical fund for women and young women to receive FREE BIRTH CONTROL. When I was coming up, and I am now 45 years of age, most of my friends and other girls in the neighborhood, black, white, and hispanic were coming up pregnant starting in the 7th grade. Well I did fine up to my high school years where the peer pressure is truly a monster ( coming from the boys). Well because of the wonderful Sex education classes that I had received in the 5th and 6th grades, I never forgot and remembered the name of the center and went there on my own to be put a birth control pills. Mind you, I did try and talk to my mother regarding the issue, but she was too set that I was going to have sex right away and she felt as though she were giving permission. So I just decided that I didn't want to end up like my other friends, nor was I ready, and already my 15 year old brother who was a year young than I had already made the mistake, and I just didn't want to go that way. And may I mention that I still had yet to have sex for at least two years after I had gotten on the pill.
well I didn't have my first child until I was 21 years of age, and I was working and had my own apartment and car and working towards a career. And because I had the choice of the pill I never had to make a choice or even bring into thought a having an abortion.

Years later, after getting married at 23 years of age and then deciding along with my husband that we would then try for a sibling for our son, My period became quite wacky and the only thing that would help that problem was for me to go on the pill. For a few years we did that, and then because of problems with the insurance and the rigidness for approval and all of the documentation that I had to submit to get lower prices, I ended up having to come off, and that's when I became pregnant again. Now my only child and son is 18 years of age. My beautiful daughter is now 5 years of age, and we love her dearly, but because of all of the mess with insurance companies is why I had to come off of the pill. So believe me when I say I totally support FREE BIRTH CONTROL FOR ALL WOMEN!!

brainsmasher said...

There are three readily available (and cheap) forms of contraception available to low income females--abstinence and condoms and education.

Mothers should educate their daughters about sex. If a male cannot afford a condom that should be a sign that he would not be a good partner.

Women should also do a little research on the origins of Planned Parenthood to find out if you really want to be associated with people like this. A leopard does not change it's spots.


Lets look at it this way, I rather pay for the prevention of an unwanted birth than the imprisionment/execution of that ssame person that would not have been here in the first place

Anonymous said...

If we can pay for men to get it up, we should pay for women to prevent pregnancy.

And for all those who would refuse another's right to prevent pregnancy, I think we should have a national sign up. Everyone who has a child they didn't want and couldn't prevent because other people interfered would be able to give their child up to the next one on the list. Neither the parents nor the pro-lifers get to choose race, gender, background, nothing. And if a mother has twins or triplets, the pro-lifer does not get to split them up, just like the mom doesn't get to take just one.

I wonder how many pro-life talkers would sign up? You want the children here so badly? You take care of them!

I'd rather pay to prevent an unwanted pregnancy (a few dollars a month?) than to pay for public assistance, child protective services, medical, food stamps, possibly juvenile detention, jail time (for bad parenting), foster care, even raised prices at the stores from shoplifting, removing graffiti, etc. ... all because someone had a child they didn't want and weren't ready to raise.

Anonymous said...

It would be cheaper to pay for their birth control than to pay for their child.