The Obama administration’s health care reform act is starting to change the face of health insurance as we know it. For those insured under the new health care plans, one of the hot issues being debated is whether birth control will be given freely by insurance companies. This all depends on the wording in the women’s health amendment, which clearly states family planning is included, but many argue that birth control is not covered in the amendment nor should it come under “Preventative Medicine”.
In recent months new benefits have been revealed like free cancer screenings and early detection tests as preventative medicine but does birth control actually fit in? Many religious groups like the Catholic Church are arguing this, stating that pregnancy is a healthy condition, not an illness, and insurance companies should not be dealing out birth control pills.
Church authorities go on by saying, “We don’t consider it to be health care, but a lifestyle choice,” said John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, “We think there are other ways to avoid having children than by ingesting chemicals paid for by health insurance.”
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Fact remains that 93 million prescriptions have been dealt out in the United States in 2009 – statics show approximately half of all pregnancies are unwanted today. Advocates say that the problem lies with skipping pills due to financial reasons and that by offering free birth control will help lower the number of unwanted pregnancies. They also state that some countries that already give free birth control have proven better family planning practices.
A committee has been assigned just for this issue and will meet later this month. They have until August to make a final decision.