If the anti-abortion folks were really concerned about the unborn, then every woman in the U.S. of childbearing age would have unfettered access to effective, affordable contraception. That’s not the case, though.

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) required private health insurance plans to cover all 18 Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods at no charge. Yet some companies opted out of providing that coverage on religious grounds, and 12 states still refuse to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, denying women in those states coverage. And Republicans, demonstrating their disdain for Obamacare and Americans’ health, led 70 unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare.

In addition, Title X, part of the Public Health Services Act signed into law by President Nixon and devoted solely to providing family planning services to low-income women, has been routinely underfunded. The impetus for Title X was research showing that access to contraception, which allowed women to plan their families, helped to reduce poverty and to increase the health of women and children.

So does access to birth control prevent unintended pregnancies? After Colorado invested in providing long-acting reversible contraception (like intrauterine devices and implants) to low-income women and girls in the state, an estimated 27,000 unintended pregnancies were prevented each year. The elimination of cost-sharing for birth control was “associated with more consistent contraceptive use and a decrease in birth rates among all income groups.”

So what’s this really about? Sentencing the next generation to poverty? Complete disregard for those needing support when costs are prohibitive? Controlling women?

Time to pull back the curtain.

Mary Ann Larson

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: