Should Birth Control Be Free Under The New Health Care Law?

Thanks to the new health care law, more women than ever may be able to gain access to free birth...
Thanks to the new health care law, more women than ever may be able to gain access to free birth control options. Access to safe birth control has not been a long-standing standard of quality health care in the United States. In fact, insurance plans that include birth control coverage are a fairly new deal. A large amount of insurance plans didn't cover family planning until the 90s. Now though, with the new health care law, free birth control may become widely available if it's decided that birth control should be included as preventive care. The main problem is that not everyone considers birth control preventative care. For example, According to one article, U.S. Catholic bishops think birth control should not be covered as it's not preventative care, but a woman's choice. The bishops oppose any required coverage of contraceptives or sterilization as preventive care. On the other side is the always outspoken Planned Parenthood along with many other medical and public health experts. Unplanned pregnancies account for half of the pregnancies in the U.S., and experts point out that in places that do offer free birth control there are fewer pregnancies, fewer abortions and fewer teen pregnancies. That all helps lower health care costs, not to mention being better for women (more choices, better health). The Obama administration along with a panel convened by the Institute of Medicine will be holding various meetings starting this month to decide what insurance plans should include, with relation to birth control. It could end up being left sort of up in the air and at the pure discretion of insurance companies, so we'll have to wait and see. The department doesn't have to make any set plans until August 2011. What do you think? Are free birth control options a good idea. I think so. Especially when you consider how lackadaisical our system is when it comes to caring for pregnant women.

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