Population Matters

The Fight over Contraceptive Coverage Resumes

June 29th, 2012

The fight over health care is far from over, and neither is the fight over contraceptive coverage.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday upheld the President’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the fights over health care insurance and the coverage of contraceptive services are far from over.  Opponents are already gearing up for a vote to repeal “Obamacare” in the House of Representatives next week.  In addition, yesterday’s Supreme Court decision will require Congress at some point to make changes in the state Medicaid provisions.   These legislative fights will almost certainly reopen the Congressional debate over contraception.  Opponents of family planning will try once again to restrict health insurance coverage of contraceptive services.

If you have any doubt about that, all you have to do is look at the footage of the protests outside the Supreme Court yesterday.  Most of the “anti-Obamacare” protesters yesterday were carrying signs opposing abortion and contraceptive coverage.  I was there.  I saw it firsthand. For better or worse, the battle over the ACA has become an extension of the war on contraception and reproductive rights.

Whatever you think of the ACA, opponents of abortion and family planning will use any fight over health care as an opportunity to limit contraceptive coverage.

We should not let that happen. Whatever Congress and the nation ultimately decide about America’s health care system, eliminating copay requirements for contraceptive services makes sense.  It not only makes reproductive health care more affordable for low-income women, it also reduces health care costs by helping to prevent unintended or unwanted pregnancies.  All women, including women who work for religiously-affiliated hospitals and schools, deserve full and adequate coverage of contraceptive services.

Don’t let contraceptive coverage become a casualty in the fight over health care.

Posted by Robert J. Walker, President

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