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BellaOnline's Pro-Choice Editor

Birth Control covered as preventative health care

In a year of unfathomable war on women, itís hard to believe we could win something so colossal. Finally it looks like we have a chance, at least where birth control is concerned. This week the Institute of Medicine recommended that all FDA approved birth control be covered by insurers with no co pays to the insured.

It was so overwhelming to hear that I actually got teary eyed. Then the pro life side started to put in their two cents. It doesnít surprise me, but I canít say I was happy about their complaint.

Pro life groups are against the pill being covered by tax payers because it also means the morning after pill and abortion pill would be covered as well. While the morning after pill is a high concentration of the birth control pill that makes becoming pregnant unfavorable for a fertilized egg, the pro life side argues, it is just as much an abortion pill because it prevents implantation of a fertilized egg. To their side, that is considered an abortion.

To me and many other pro choice advocates it does not. Without implantation there is no chance at life. The egg simply flushes out as it would any month that pregnancy does not occur.

Regardless of the argument, it is a tremendous hurdle overcome if insurance providers must cover all birth control with no co pay. In 2001 a study concluded nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States were unintentional.

Currently most birth control pills alone range in price from $15 to $50 a month. For many people, it is simply unaffordable.

That leads me to the next and even bigger problem. So many people in the U.S donít have insurance. That means that birth control is even more unattainable, and with Planned Parenthood funding being cut, for many it is impossible.
The answer to better health care and less abortion is not to make birth control harder to get. It only exacerbates the problem. The more unintended pregnancies, the more there will be need for abortions. We would have less of either issue, if we made birth control easily accessible both by location and cost.

We are thankfully on the right track with the Institute of Medicines recommendation. We need to take it a few steps further to promote the health and well being of all women and not just those covered by insurance.

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