This week the Institute of Medicine recommended that prescription birth control be included as a women's preventative health service which would make it covered without co-pays by new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is now reviewing the report with a ruling expected in August. And that means that now is the time to make our voices heard on the matter.
Of course Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America was one of the first to speak out: "Millions of women, especially young women, struggle every day to afford prescription birth control. [This] recommendation brings us a step closer to ensuring that all newly insured women under the health care reform law will have access to prescription birth control without out-of-pocket expenses. This would be a tremendous stride forward for women's health in this country."
I couldn't agree more. And before you start to think this isn't a big issue you should take note of a 2010 survey by Hart Research that found that over one-third of female voters struggled with the cost of birth control at some point in their lives which led them to be inconsistent with its use. The obvious result here is a whole lot of unplanned pregnancies. And this certainly should not be a partisan issueit's about the health of all women. In the very same survey, 77% of Catholics and 72% of Republicans surveyed believed that birth control should be covered without out-of-pocket expense. See? We can agree on things from time to time..
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