Politics
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks at a round table discussion with area seniors on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks at a round table discussion with area seniors on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)  

Obama administration approves no-cost birth control, including ‘morning after’ pill

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Pro-lifers are horrified at the announcement Monday that the Obama administration has approved a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to guarantee full health insurance coverage for birth control, including the so-called “morning-after” pill, under the Affordable Care Act.

The new guidelines, which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) labeled “historic,” will require new health insurance plans to include women’s preventive services including FDA approved contraceptives, breast feeding support, and well-women visits — all without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible — beginning August 1, 2012.

“The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”

The Obama administration also released an amendment to the guidelines allowing religious organizations to opt out of providing the contraception services.

Still, pro-life advocacy groups virulently opposed the IOM recommendation. LifeNews is reporting that these organizations may push Congress to pass legislation to reduce harm which they believe will accompany the new guidelines.

“The real issue is not about ‘birth control’ as such but rather about specific contraceptives that can function as abortifacients, in particular, emergency contraceptives,” Jeanne Monahan, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity explained to LifeNews. “This isn’t a matter of opinion or political ideology.”

“The FDA approved label for Plan B suggests it can prevent implantation of an embryo. Moreover, the most recently approved EC, ‘ella,’ is chemically similar to RU-486 and it may destroy an embryo after it is already implanted,” she added.

Groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL were major advocates for the new directive.

“As someone who has worked on women’s rights for nearly 30 years, I can say that today’s news marks one of the biggest advances for women’s health in a generation,” Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said in a statement when IOM released their recommendation.

“Currently, nearly one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control, and that’s why the United States has a far higher unintended-pregnancy rate than other industrialized countries. Making family-planning services available at no cost will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion.”

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  • ck

    I noticed most the people who commented on this article were men. Understand something… children are not the problem, unplanned pregnancies lead to financial problems and financial problems lead to WELFARE. If those people wisen up… or wrap it up, there would be less people on welfare and maybe there wont be high rises in taxes, or inflation, or even a recession or depression. Yes in the end someone has to pay for the birth control, but maybe if people looked on the bright side and thought with their heads… then maybe this is a good solutuion. Providing contraception to those who need it will keep hospital visits down and the keep the cost to take care of children down, and maybe save a few struggling families who are already suffering do to the rise in unemployment, and the rising inflation.

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  • Common Sense

    This should have been done several years ago…Let me here all the Pro-Lifer men cry when insurance companies stops covering Viagra…As a healthcare provider and OB/GYN, I see women everyday with unintended pregnancies….This is a women’s health issue and men’s as well….Applause

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  • NickB1967

    This is beyond stupid, and is why our health insurance costs are skyrocketing. This is forcing medical insurance to cover birth control pills. Where was the vote for this? Isn’t this unfair taxation?

    Like the women who claim they can’t afford The Pill don’t spend far more on their cell phone bills every month.

    Once again:
    Q: What do we insure against?
    A: Major Financial Catastophe.

    NOT routine every month expenses.

    What would our car insurance cost if oil changes were paid by our insurer?
    And what would the oil changes cost?

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  • Anonymous

    Obamacare has the probability of being rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

  • Lula

    The cost of covering a pregnancy & a childs health after they’re born is way more than birth control. Think about it. The cost of all 3 of the aforementioned cause insurance premiums to go up, but making sure birth control is accessible to anyone w/health insurance will in the long run prevent more unwanted prenancys.

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