I get asked this question a lot.
It gets tweeted, posted on my blog, and I am asked in person.
Sometimes people are really genuine. I understand everyone doesn’t have the same medical background, and so for some it is a legitimate question.
Sometimes the tone is snide. I’m not sure of the agenda then. Sometimes it’s religion. Sometimes it’s the idea that someone should be forced to pay for someone else’s contraception. Sometimes I just don’t know.
So here goes. Once and for all:
Women shouldn’t have their birth control options restricted. Period. By any one. Anywhere. Any time.
Women shouldn’t have the most effective option restricted. No method of birth control is more effective that the two IUDs available in the United States. This is especially important when you consider the teenagers who are also on the health plan in question. Teenagers have the highest contraception failure rate and IUDs are spectacular at reducing unplanned pregnancies for teenagers. In addition, the Copper IUD is hormone free. which matters medically for many women regardless of age.
Contraception allows women to have reproductive control which is good medically. Women bear 100% the medical burden of pregnancy. Spacing pregnancies leads to healthier babies and healthier women. How exactly is that bad thing? It’s also good economically, but I’ma doctor so I’ll stick with what I know.
Allowing 4 methods of birth control to be excluded because of a belief is the thin edge of the wedge for all birth control. A belief is a hypothesis and in this case science has proven the hypothesis wrong. Plan B, ella, and IUDs are not abortifacients. If you allow Plan B to be excluded on this scientifically flawed premise then medically the same argument holds for all forms of hormonal contraception. The 4 methods excluded by the Supreme Court must be our Maginot Line. Want proof? The Supreme Court has already indicated that the ruling covers all 20 forms of contraception protected through the Affordable Care Act. Make no mistake about it, the goal is to get all contraception coverage dropped. And then what? Start to make it illegal one by one? Who knows the ultimate agenda, but I don’t want to find out.
Contraception is medical care. I’m not talking about controlling bleeding or reducing cramps (which Mirena, one of the Hobby Lobby excluded methods does), but it is medical care to prevent pregnancy. We don’t need any other medical reason. Also, the Copper IUD wouldn’t be afforded any protection under that reasoning. While many women do use birth control for off-label indications that is not why they are coming for birth control. No one pushing these lawsuits cares a whiff about the health of your uterus. If they did none of this would be happening. Off-label use is important, but when we rely on that argument it weakens the idea that contraception matters simply for contraception’s sake. An appendectomy is medicine. Treating high blood pressure is medicine. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is medicine. Contraception is medicine.
Pass it on.