Birth Control Coverage: Why a Debate?

If I was writing this article exploring the debate over whether birth control should be in the health reform bill, I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of a debate.  Here’s why:

  • A woman’s right to choose preventative measures from unwanted pregnancy is between her and her body.
  • It has always been predominantly the woman’s responsibility to control our reproductive health.  The cost of that control can add up!
  • Unwanted pregnancies, especially among teenagers are a huge public health and economic problem in our society.
    • These babies are significantly more likely to be born prematurely, have more health conditions, do worse in school, more likely to be involved with crime, and more likely to be a teen mom themselves.
    • Teen moms are less likely to go to college, let alone finish high school keeping her job options limited.
  • Making birth control more accessible to women is fiscally responsible:
    • Teen moms with unwanted pregnancies are more likely, than moms planning their pregnancies, to chronically need social services like Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (formerly known as food stamps), shouldered by tax payers.
    • Children of teenage mothers are also more likely to engage in criminal activities which burdens the justice system also shouldered by tax payers.
  • Most importantly, what happened to the division of religion and state?  However one wants to define the beginning of life is none of my business, nor anyone else’s.  But it becomes many women’s business when select conservative believers interject their values to prevent a policy that would benefit millions of women in this country.

I commend the article’s writer, Tracy Clark-Flory, for being less judgmental than I would have been towards those who oppose insurance companies covering contraceptives costs.

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