If birth control is unaffordable, it’s also inaccessible


October 9, 2017 - 12:00 AM

The hope is that as a modern society, we appreciate birth control and its purpose of preventing unwanted pregnancies as well as helping families maintain their desired number of children.
Substantial progress on both fronts has been made thanks to a 2014 mandate that an employer’s health insurance policy include birth control.
On Friday, the Trump administration pulled the rug from the ruling.
Immediately, employers may drop all such coverage from their insurance plans.
The provision has saved hundreds of thousands of U.S. women millions of dollars in birth control costs. An intrauterine device, for example, runs about $1,000. A prescription for birth control pills averages $50 a month. Of the U.S. population, more than 60 million women are of childbearing age.
The Trump administration maintains the coverage mandated under the Affordable Care Act impinged on an employer’s “religious liberties.”
In reality, it’s just another paean to big business, allowing it to pocket the savings.
Yes, there are cases where one’s religious beliefs go up against artificial means of birth control. And as such, the ACA has made allowances. Churches, mosques and religious-based non-profits, for example, have been allowed to skip the coverage for their employees.
Even Hobby Lobby, the $4.6 billion arts-and-crafts mega-chain, got a free pass by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014, by citing religious objections.
Friday’s ruling allows any company to play the religious card with no burden of proof.
Female employees immediately will go from free coverage to full retail cost.
The administration refuses to see the inherent discrimination, saying women will still be able to acquire birth control, just not for free.
Please, don’t play us for stupid. If you can’t afford it, that’s as good as blocking its access.

— Susan Lynn

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