Thanks to Obamacare, it looks like the liberal dream of free birth control is about to be realized.
Earlier this week the Institute of Medicine (IOM), formed in 1970 to inform the government about health care matters, recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) require all insurance providers to eliminate co-pays for birth control. HHS is expected to adopt the recommendation next month.
The recommendation is one of several in the IOM report on preventative services that should be made available to women under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
What “Disease” Does Contraception Prevent?
Bob Laird, in a column at LifeNews.com, offers a great critique of the IOM recommendation that contraception falls under the mantel of preventative health services—measures intended to prevent serious illness. His central criticism—and the first thing that occurred to me when I heard this story—is that pregnancy is not a disease. Says Laird:
Contraception only prevents disease or serious illness if one considers pregnancy to be a disease.
Contraception does not fall within the category of preventative health services. These drugs, devices, and procedures prevent the bringing of children into the world. Contraception only prevents disease or serious illness if one considers pregnancy to be a disease or serious illness. Pregnancy is not an illness or disease, nor are children the side effect or the unintended by-product of disease.
Laird also points out that the abortion lobby’s own research shows that nearly half of women who become pregnant unintentionally were using birth control at the time, as are more than half of women seeking abortions. Failure rates for birth control are particularly high among the young and poor, the groups that this free birth control scheme is alleged to help the most.
IOM Recommendation Helps Planned Parenthood, Not Women
In reality, if the HHS does as expected and approves the IOM recommendation, the beneficiaries will not be women, but abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, which can expect revenues for birth control to go up with the elimination of co-pays, especially when Obamacare’s mandatory insurance provisions kick in in a few years.
Laird was one of those who testified before the IOM last year, and he reports that the deck was stacked against us from the start. Many speakers had close ties to Planned Parenthood, and no representative of the Catholic Church—which runs over 500 hospitals all across the country—was invited to speak.
Insiders say the Obama administration punted this issue to the IOM, rather than having the HHS study the matter, to avoid having to make the call on birth control co-pays themselves—in other words, to give themselves cover for implementing this free contraception scheme. They can pretend they’re just following what the experts say, rather than admitting they’re offering a plum to their friends at Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
More Contraception Means More Abortion
The biggest losers in this whole debacle are the babies who will be conceived and aborted, thanks to Obama’s free contraception scheme. The League has long argued that contraception is not the answer to unintended pregnancy.
Though it may reduce the chances a baby will be conceived by any given act of sexual intercourse, the aggregate effect of contraception is to increase risky sexual behavior and, ultimately, increase abortion. As reported here earlier this year, recent research found that—contrary to researchers’ expectations—as contraceptive use went up among Spanish women, abortion rates went up, too.
Is Free Birth Control a Done Deal?
My contacts on Capitol Hill leave little room to hope we can stop the HHS from implementing the IOM’s recommendations. Obama wants it, as does his HHS chief, the staunchly pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius. Soon, all insurance plans in the nation will have to cover 100% of the cost of contraception. (Though current plans are “grandfathered in,” plans change so frequently that this means little.)
But a bill is in the works in the House of Representatives to amend this provision of Obamacare. It won’t be signed into law with the pro-abortion forces controlling the Senate and White House right now. We’ll have to wait on that one until at least 2013.
Meanwhile, we need to take this opportunity to highlight the negative impact of contraception and debunk the myth that contraception is the answer to abortion. And we have to work double-time to elect a president and senate who will undo such anti-child provisions of Obamacare.