On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we honor and celebrate US women’s legal right to abortion, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that abortion is accessible to women everywhere, and that the promise of the decision is a reality for all of us.
The President seems unaware of the fact that Catholics who matter have disagreed with the Vatican’s current prohibition on contraception. Catholics, including institutions within the Catholic community, are free to follow their conscience on contraception. It is not up to the Obama administration to decide what action is more “Catholic” on the matter of contraception.
There is another 99 percent group in our country, distinct from but inextricably entwined with the now more familiar #99Percent. I refer to the 99 percent of American women who have ever had sexual intercourse and have used a birth control method at least some of the time.
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.
Several days ago, I wrote about the ordeal I have been going through trying to move my health insurance from Kentucky to Maryland. It’s an ongoing–and expensive–saga.
The Department of Health and Human Services has adopted guidelines for insurance coverage on women’s preventive health services that include all the recommendations recently made by the Institute of Medicine and require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.
What’s at stake in the HHS decision around the IOM recommendations on contraception? First, the health and rights of women who will benefit from easier access to contraception. And second, the IOM’s action draws attention to the extent to which contraception has become yet another front in the nation’s unending culture war.
The Institute of Medicine recommended that insurance plans cover contraceptive care with no co-pays and alarm bells start ringing in anti-choice offices across the land. So get ready for the smear campaign to come.
In Massachusetts, we have already learned some lessons about why it is important to include contraception at no additional cost.
The Affordable Care Act provides a huge opportunity to make sure US women have access to contraception. Contraception should be on the list of preventive medicines and services that don’t require a co-pay—that makes health and fiscal sense.