The debate has started again about what services should and should not be covered by health insurance. Religious organizations feel that they should be able to not cover birth control. If they don’t believe in it as a religious policy, they should not pay for it as part of their insurance policy.
I thought we had finally finished fighting this battle. Sigh. Here we go again. I have had to deal with insurance companies (and parents sometimes) about this for years. People – this is not the 1950s.
1. The choice of whether or not to have children belongs with the woman who is having the children. It does not belong with anyone else. As a physician, I can only assist in this decision.
2. The choice of birth control method also belongs with a woman. Her partner may or may not be involved in this decision. My job is to educate her and assist in this decision.
3. Birth control is not always used to prevent pregnancy. We use birth control pills to control bleeding, keep cycles regular, assist with acne control, aid in controlling cramps, help control endometriosis, and many other things. We use IUDs, patches and other birth control methods for some of the same issues. Some of the women using these methods aren’t even sexually active. If the insurance company decides not to cover “birth control”, they won’t cover the medications for any other reason.
4. Many of the “covered lives” (shudder at that term) may not be of the same faith as the organization that they work for. Should they have to live by the same rules?
It is interesting to me that most of the people who are making these arguments are not the ones who are going to have to raise the babies. Once the babies are born, they aren’t going to have the responsibility for them forever. It’s only in the abstract that they talk about “the pregnancy”.
Let’s give them 5 babies, minimum wage, no welfare, no medical assistance, etc, and see how they do!