Missouri Lawmaker Files Suit Seeking ‘Individual Exemption’ From Contraception Coverage


A Missouri lawmaker filed a lawsuit this week seeking a federal court ruling that his family is exempt from contraception coverage through the Missouri state insurance plan, arguing the coverage violates his First Amendment rights.

State Rep. Paul Wieland (R-Imperial) filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and his wife, Teresa, who both qualify for the state health plan through Wieland’s service as a legislator. Unlike some other legal challenges, which seek a broad ruling from the court that the contraception benefit is unconstitutional, Wieland’s suit only seeks a personal exemption from the contraception requirement. Should Wieland’s lawsuit succeed, it would create precedent for other individuals to sue as a way to opt out of coverage.

Wieland is working with the Thomas More Society, a law firm based in Chicago that pushes litigation on behalf of religious conservative issues and clients. The firm has cases challenging the contraception benefit in states across the country. Last year, it unsuccessfully defended a Missouri law that allowed employers and employees to opt out of the contraception benefit for “reasons of conscience.” In March, a federal court ruled the Missouri law was unconstitutional, preempted by the federal health-care law.

So far over 70 lawsuits have been filed in federal court challenging the Affordable Care Act’s no cost-sharing contraceptive coverage benefit, with over 50 cases still pending and federal appellate courts split on the law’s constitutionality.

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  • fiona64

    Okay, this is dumber than dumb. Just because it’s covered by your plan doesn’t mean you’re forced to use it. I mean, my plan covers Viagra, but that doesn’t mean I’m running out to get some.

  • liberaldem

    If this man and his spouse choose not to use birth control, no one is forcing them to do so.

  • lorimakesquilts

    Besides being stupid, it’s financially foolish to do this. It nets the insurance company less to insure without contraceptive coverage than with it. Premiums will be higher without the contraceptive coverage, which you don’t have to use in the first place.

  • colleen2

    It seems to me that such people should be able to purchase an insurance policy that excludes effective contraception. If the couple is fertile they should be paying much higher premiums. I see no reason why we should be forced to pay for what serves the religious right for a conscience.

    • fiona64

      Well, that is a good point …

      Especially since the fact that they aren’t forced to *use* contraception eludes them.

      • Jennifer Starr

        I remember a discussion I once had on here with a guy who was Catholic and claimed he was a business owner. He told me that he was worried that contraceptive coverage might present too much of a temptation to his employees. He was also worried that it would tempt his children as well–lol.

        • HeilMary1

          Did you ask him if he ever broke the rules himself?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Unfortunately, no. But I should have.

        • Ella Warnock

          Temptation. To his employees.

          Wow, what OTHER temptations should my employer be so very concerned about? I mean, if he’s giving me a paycheck, I might go out and buy booze, or cigs, or porn, or weed. How is he going to control all the temptations that might lead this poor little sheep astray?

          • Valde

            Female sexuality is the only thing that makes them uncomfy, apparently.

          • Ella Warnock

            True that. But then I could also just pay for BC or an abortion with my paycheck, so he’s really not as in control of my “temptations” as he wishes to believe. At any rate, he would still be “paying” for it either way, so I still don’t see how he’s getting away from paying for things he doesn’t like. If he’s really serious about that, then he needs to make sure all of his employees kowtow to the same belief system he does. If he really wanted to remain “pure,” he’d have to fire me.

          • Valde

            Yes. However, for these freaks, I think that ‘out of sight out of mind’ actually means something. As long as he doesn’t have to actively FACE the fact that you might be enjoying sex !! eleventy!! then he can get on with his life. But being constantly reminded that you are using contraception would just be too damn painful. Won’t you think about the menz, Ella?

          • Ella Warnock

            I know, I should be much more sympathetic to their tender fee-fees.

          • colleen2

            Going by the ‘pro-life’ folks who post here I suspect they don’t want it widely known that women can have orgasms.

  • R0chambeau

    My insurance plan doesn’t carry dental or vision. If I want those I have to purchase it separately – either though another plan or out of pocket. Why should contraception be any different for an insurance company that chooses to not carry it?

    • fiona64

      It’s not the plans not covering it; it was companies refusing to cover it. And why is this a problem, you may ask? The answer is simple: parity. The same firms that were refusing to cover contraception for women were providing coverage for Viagra.

      • R0chambeau

        Viagra treats a medical dysfunction. What medical problem is abortion treating?

        It’s not. It’s elective.

        • Valde

          Pregnancy is considered a planned illness by insurance companies. Pregnancy is not benign. Pregnancy maims and kills. Abortion is 14x safer than pregnancy.

        • Jennifer Starr

          ED is only a medical problem if you want to have sex. No one has ever died from not being able to get it up. Pregnancy, on the other hand, has killed many people.

          • Valde

            Yes but, babymaking and sexual pleasure = a man’s right.

            The right not to be pregnant = a right women should not have.

            duh!

          • Jennifer Starr

            Oh yeah, I forgot–a man’s right to an erection is paramount :)

        • fiona64

          Um, sweetie? This guy is talking about *contraception,* not abortion.

          And even wanted pregnancies go wrong. That’s a medical problem.

          • Valde

            Just so you know – and I am telling you here so she can’t see – but on yahoo comments, myintx has said that rape victims should be allowed abortions:P

            She lies like a sidewalk and constantly changes her story in order to appear like the good guy in many situations.

            I got her though – she keeps saying that an embryo = an unborn baby, however, she won’t try to stop IVF clinics from killing excess embryos because 1) embryos will be ok 2) a majority of people support IVF 3) eventually we will get to banning ivf but it’s not like, a priority or anything.

            And she won’t adopt an IVF embryo and gestate it to term – in order to give the gift of life she keeps talking about. She could save one embryo a year. She keeps saying that every embryo is entitled to a shot at life – so why doesn’t she give a flying fuck about IVF?

            If she truly believed embryos were babies that were being senselessly murdered through freezer burn, and often outright destroyed, she would be doing *something* more than appealing to argumentum ad populum.

          • fiona64

            She doesn’t give a fat damn about anything except controlling women who don’t believe as she does.

        • expect_resistance

          Being pregnant is a much bigger medical issue/problem than ED. Being pregnant when you don’t want to be is a HUGE medical problem. All insurance plans should be required to cover contraceptives and abortion. Before

          • R0chambeau

            The ICD code for impotency it is 302.72.

            What’s the ICD code for “Being pregnant when you don’t want to be?”

          • HeilMary1

            Jackass, pregnancies cause a zillion bankrupting deaths and diseases. American childbirths cost insurance companies and patients $4,000 to several million each, depending on the resulting injuries, diseases and birth defects. My company lost great insurance because of one employee’s $100,000 premie. Contraception is far cheaper than organ transplants needed for obstetric organ failures. Contraception is far cheaper than the $2,000,000 needed to raise Down Syndrome children whom you consider to be moochers.

            And I’ll bet you think low-income couples should just make do without sex for 20 years, never mind that “anti-abortion” married Rep. Scott DesJarlais banged his staff and patients, then forced abortions on them to avoid child support!

          • R0chambeau

            Great, since contraception is so cheap then you should have no problem buying it for yourself and acting like a responsible adult.

          • Valde

            Condoms are cheap, and some birth control pills are, but not all are.

            The 9$ versions at wal-mart might work for some women, and for others, they could cause all manner of debilitating side effects.

            Some women have to use the 80$ a month bc pills. For some women, only an IUD works.

          • expect_resistance

            What you are not getting is that birth control is far cheaper when comparing that to a pregnancy and birth.

          • HeilMary1

            And funerals! — I know of several childbirths that killed several area women, one young widowed dad (heart attack from grief), and made another widower and his motherless infant twins HOMELESS.

          • HeilMary1

            $600 to $1200 per year for bc pills is NOT cheap for uninsured low-income women who have trouble keeping low-paying jobs and paying rent. Most Washington, DC area people spend have their income on rent. However, $600 to $1200 per year covered by insurance is far cheaper than $40,000 to several million spent on calamitous childbirths. Are you deliberately stupid, or were you born that way?

          • R0chambeau

            As Michael Jackson once sang “If you can’t feed your baby, then don’t have a baby.”

            If you can’t afford oral contraception pills ($9/month at Walmart for generic – and yes, I know not all women can take that) then there is an even cheaper route – condoms. And even cheaper still….abstinence.

            It’s almost like you are being willingly ignorant about the options available. Why is that?

            Now, I can already expect your response.

            “Oh, so poor people can’t have sex???”

            No, they can do whatever they want. They just need to deal with the financial consequences of those decisions. If you’re not an adult enough to deal with the consequences of your decisions, then, yes, maybe you shouldn’t be having sex.

          • Valde

            No, you are saying that sex should only be for people who can afford to have a child every time they have sex.

            After all, a poor family couldn’t possibly afford to feed ever expanding numbers of children – so the ‘responsibility’ you are talking about is either to

            1) force many of these children to grow up malnourished and in extreme poverty or

            2) force the parents to give up future kids for adoption if they cannot afford to feed them

            HARDLY the best thing for the children, in either scenario.

          • R0chambeau

            If you are so poor that you can barely support yourself, then placing yourself at risk of becoming pregnant is probably the last thing you should be doing.

            But, hey, personal responsibility was something your parents obviously didn’t teach you. That’s sad. Maybe you should ask for a refund.

          • Valde

            ad hominem fallacy sweetcheeks

          • fiona64

            I smell another Rand-tard …

          • fiona64

            *And* fundamental attribution error! The anti-choice seem to be really good at that one.

          • Valde

            He couldn’t refute any of my statements, so yes, he fell back on calling me an irresponsible s1ut

          • expect_resistance

            Right on Heil Mary!

          • HeilMary1

            Thanks!

          • Jennifer Starr

            So sorry we’re not taking your poor little malfunctioning man-parts so seriously, but pregnancy is much more serious.

          • Guest

            WHat’s the ICD code for cognitive dissonance?

          • fiona64

            I think the most pertinent one in his case is 301.81, with perhaps a side order of 297.2. :-)

          • expect_resistance

            Here are the codes for pregnancy: (I would say any of these could be not wanting to be pregnant). So there’s your ICD code.

            Ectopic and molar pregnancy (630–633)

            (630) Hydatidiform mole
            (631) Other abnormal product of conception
            (632) Abortion, missed

            (633.1) Ectopic pregnancy, tubal, no IUP
            (633.9) Ectopic pregnancy, no IUP, unspec.

            Other pregnancy with abortive outcome (634–639)

            (634) Spontaneous abortion
            (635) Legally induced abortion
            (636) Illegally induced abortion
            (637) Unspecified abortion
            (638) Failed attempted abortion
            (639) Complications following abortion and ectopic and molar pregnancies

            Complications mainly related to pregnancy (640–649)

            (640) Hemorrhage in early pregnancy

            (640.0) Threatened abortion

            (640.03) Abortion, threatened, antepartum

            (641) Antepartum hemorrhage, abruptio placentae, and placenta previa

            (641.0) Placenta previa, w/o bleeding, unspec.
            (641.1) Placenta previa, w/ bleeding, unspec.
            (641.2) Abruptio placentae, unspec.
            (641.9) Hemorrhage in pregnancy., unspec.

            (642) Hypertension complicating pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium

            (642.0) Benign essential hypertension complicating pregnancy childbirth and the puerperium
            (642.1) Hypertension secondary to renal disease complicating pregnancy childbirth and the puerperium
            (642.2) Other pre-existing hypertension complicating pregnancy childbirth and the puerperium
            (642.3) Transient hypertension of pregnancy

            (642.33) Gestational hypertension, antepartum

            (642.4) Mild or unspecified pre-eclampsia
            (642.5) Severe pre-eclampsia
            (642.6) Eclampsia, unspec.
            (642.7) Pre-eclampsia or eclampsia superimposed on pre-existing hypertension

            (643) Excessive vomiting in pregnancy

            (643.0) Mild hyperemesis gravidarum
            (643.1) Hyperemesis gravidarum with metabolic disturbance
            (643.9) Vomiting of pregnancy, unspec.

            (644) Early or threatened labor

            (644.0) Threatened premature labor
            (644.1) Other threatened labor
            (644.2) Early onset of delivery

            (645) Prolonged pregnancy

            (645.1) Post term pregnancy
            (645.2) Prolonged pregnancy

            (646) Other complications of pregnancy, not elsewhere classified

            (646.0) Papyraceous fetus
            (646.1) Edema or excessive weight gain in pregnancy without mention of hypertension
            (646.2) Unspecified renal disease in pregnancy without mention of hypertension
            (646.3) Habitual aborter currently pregnant
            (646.4) Peripheral neuritis in pregnancy
            (646.5) Asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy
            (646.6) Infections of genitourinary tract in pregnancy
            (646.7) Liver disorders in pregnancy

            (647) Infective and parasitic conditions in the mother classifiable

            (647.0) Syphilis complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (647.1) Gonorrhea complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (647.2) Other venereal diseases complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (647.3) Tuberculosis complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (647.4) Malaria complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (647.5) Rubella complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (647.6) Other viral diseases complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium

            (648) Other current conditions in the mother classifiable elsewhere

            (648.0) Diabetes mellitus complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.1) Thyroid dysfunction complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.2) Anemia complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.3) Drug dependence complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.4) Mental disorders complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.5) Congenital cardiovascular disorders complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.6) Other cardiovascular diseases complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.7) Bone and joint disorders of back pelvis and lower limbs of mother complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium
            (648.8) Abnormal glucose tolerance of mother complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium

            (648.83) Gestational diabetes, antepartum

            (648.9) Other current conditions complicating pregnancy childbirth or the puerperium

            (649) Other conditions or status of the mother complicating pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium

            (649.0) Tobacco use disorder complicating pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium
            (649.1) Obesity complicating pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium
            (649.2) Bariatric surgerystatus complicating pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium
            (649.3) Coagulation defects complicating pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium
            (649.4) Epilepsy complicating pregnancy, childbirth, or the puerperium
            (649.5) Spotting complicating pregnancy
            (649.6) Uterine size date discrepancy
            (649.7) Cervical shortening

          • HeilMary1

            I’ll bet the misogynist troll refuses to read your list, and you probably omitted a lot more pregnancy ICD codes. It might be helpful to add corresponding hospital fees for these codes so the fetal idolaters get a clue why childbirth is so impoverishing for single mothers, couples and entire nations.

            India currently feeds 400 MILLION poor, a number greatly exceeding the entire U.S. population, and yet forced birthers want the U.S. to be just as desperately overpopulated to win moldy crumbs of praise from pedophile priests, wife-dumping GOP playboys and their fascist billionaire funders.

          • R0chambeau

            Superb research. I’m glad you spent the time on that.

            Now, if a pregnancy doesn’t fit one of those codes (like most pregnancies) then why should an insurance company cover it?

            Well, I’ll answer that for you. Technically, they shouldn’t. But, they do. Why? Because an actuary has decided it’s more cost effective to pay for a woman’s prenatal care and childbirth than to deal with the effects of not covering that. I’m fine with that.

            Great. Now, where does birth control factor into this? It doesn’t.

            You see, you are assuming that if an insurance plan doesn’t cover expensive oral contraceptive pills, then a woman would make the decision to have unprotected sex – and therefore result in childbirth. But, you are assuming that women are fucking retarded. They are not – at least I don’t think so.

            I think women are smarter than that. They can buy the cheaper contraceptive if they don’t want to get pregnant. That’s even if their insurer doesn’t cover it. But, since you think women are basically morons, then you can believe whatever you like.

          • Jennifer Starr

            So aren’t men smart enough to pay for their own little playtime tablets? After all, it’s just recreational, and they could always try abstaining.

          • R0chambeau

            Men are smart enough to pay for their “playtime tablets.”

            In fact, insurance companies don’t cover Viagra at pretty much the same rate as they don’t cover birth control pills – which is about 14% of the companies which don’t cover those.

            The difference is “playtime pills” treat a medical dysfunction. OCPs, when used as a contraceptive, do not.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Only a medical dysfunction if you have to have sex.Whereas birth control pills can also be used to treat illnesses that are actually serious rather than something frivolous like impotence.

          • R0chambeau

            You are a failure at reading. You should ask for a refund.

            Yes, OCP are used for other things than birth control.

            Let me explain. A man comes into the clinic and says “Hey Doc, I’m losing my hair.” My reply is “that’s normal male pattern baldness. You can take a drug though. It’s called finasteride.”

            Different patient “Hey doc, I have trouble urinating. I have to get up 3 times each night to pee….” My reply is “that’s BPH, you should take finasteride.”

            Same drug. Different pathology.

          • fiona64

            So now you want to pretend you’re a physician?

            I’ll give the anti-choice this much: you all have very vivid imaginations.

          • fiona64

            Actually, ED is an off-label use for Viagra, which is a heart med. So yes, it’s for recreation and not an actual medical condition.

          • Valde

            You see, you are assuming that if an insurance plan doesn’t cover
            expensive oral contraceptive pills, then a woman would make the decision
            to have unprotected sex – and therefore result in childbirth.

            People will have sex regardless of whether or not contraceptives are available. There are many many factors in play that affect whether or not women – and men, choose to have sex. It is never as clean cut as guy asks girl to have sex, girl says no. Also, condoms are not foolproof, and many men engage in reproductive coercion – poking holes in condoms, refusing to wear them, even sabotaging the woman’s birth control. And it is not an insignificant number of women that cannot use the cheap 9$ per month pills.

            And take the Philippines. Contraception has been illegal there, thanks to the Catholic Church. The average poor family has 8-10 kids. Are the people stupid? Are they all retarded? No. What they are is PEOPLE, and people are evolutionarily driven to reproduce. Sex is almost irresistable to a lot of people for that reason. This is why birth control works, and abstinence only does not.

            You just want women to live in constant fear of pregnancy. To be victims of their fertility. This is why you are preaching abstinence.

          • R0chambeau

            Abortion is a band-aid for irresponsible people – like you.

          • Valde

            Yeah. Of course. That’s what you assume.

            Btw sweetie, I am a virgin, and plan to be my entire life.

            So shove that up your smugly superior ass.

          • expect_resistance

            opps duplicate

          • expect_resistance

            opps duplicate

          • Valde

            But hun, haven’t you heard….PREGNANCY IS NOT A DISEASE!

            /snark

          • Ella Warnock

            Hell, it’s not even a medical condition! Cuz it’s all naaachuuurl! And as we all know, natural always = good. *brain freezing eyeroll*

          • HeilMary1

            As natural as DEATH and killer asteroids!

        • HeilMary1

          Liar, contraception isn’t an abortion and contraception treats a zillion diseases, including acne and ovarian cysts. Moreover, it prevents multi-million dollar disasters like childbirth deaths, organ injuries, autoimmune diseases, birth defects, child abuse, priest pedophilia, divorces, job losses and homelessness.

  • Swiggy

    I could understand him wanting an exemption if it was apparent that he didn’t practice it. However, he has been married for 21 years and only has 3 children. I doubt very much that they practice abstinence, so why don’t they have a passel of kids like the Duggars?

    • Valde

      Exactly.

    • HeilMary1

      He could be getting it on the side from hookers like my dad did.

  • expect_resistance

    opps duplicate

  • Valde

    he’s already accused me of being a s1ut