All people deserve access to the information and resources they need to make informed decisions about their own health, including students at a Catholic university.
Eighteen for-profit companies have filed lawsuits to overturn the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act, which requires that all insurance policies cover birth control without a co-pay as part of preventive care. These companies argue that including insurance coverage for birth control “violates their religious freedom.” Here’s a brief introduction to those companies and their cases.
A broad religious exemption for contraceptive coverage would go too far, depriving millions of women of an important health benefit. Instead of expanding exemptions, we should be expanding access to affordable care.
Women’s groups working to save coverage of women’s health care under health reform are concerned that President Obama will cave as early as this weekend to demands by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (all 271 men) to eliminate coverage of birth control without a co-pay. The reason? The President thinks he “owes” the Bishops for help with passage of health reform.
The Bishops are lobbying hard for the Obama Administration to effectively excuse any and all “religious” entities from covering contraceptives without a co-pay. Last week Archbishop Dolan paid a private visit to President Obama and word on the street is that the White House may cave. This would be a grave mistake.
There are those who assert that unintended pregnancy is not a health condition and therefore prevention of unintended pregnancy is not preventive health care. From my personal practice I can say that I cannot disagree more.
I firmly believe the requirements under the Affordable Care Act, and the slate of regulations being created to implement it, infringe on no one’s conscience, demand no one change her or his religious beliefs, discriminate against no man or woman, put no additional economic burden on the poor, interfere with no one’s medical decisions, compromise no one’s health — that is, if you consider the law without refusal clauses.
The Department of Health and Human Services has included contraceptive coverage as essential preventive care under the Affordable Care Act, while exempting organizations with an explicit religious mission from having to comply. For some, this exemption does not go far enough. But how far can religious right organizations go in denying their employees access to essential preventive care?
On July 21, 2011, we’ll be hosting the “Birth Control: We’ve Got You Covered” blog carnival, featuring bloggers from across the net. Women need access to birth control to prevent unintended pregnancies, plan the timing and size of their families and protect their health. Women know the preventive health benefits of birth control, but we also know the cost to stay on it throughout our childbearing years. Birth control can be expensive, and the high cost of birth control can affect whether women use it consistently.