President Barak Obama revealed The Affordable Care Act, which would require insurance companies to cover a variety services with no charge to the recipient, including contraceptives. The mandate has caused a huge debate.
When the conservative American radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” and a “prostitute”, he was calling attention to an outdated stereotype, not to mention being very inappropriate.
Fluke testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee after being denied the chance at a House Oversight Committee hearing to support the insurance mandate.
Limbaugh took her testimony to mean that contraception was a way for her to have as much sex as she wants without the consequence of an unwanted pregnancy, prompting his attack.
A large problem with Limbaugh’s thinking is that contraceptives aren’t just used as a form of preventing pregnancy anymore. Fluke’s testimony cited her friend as an example for the many uses contraceptives have besides preventing pregnancy. Young Women’s Health says that the pills can help with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and irregular menstruation, among others.
Maybe the biggest misconception about the mandate is thinking that taxes pay for the contraceptives. The White House web site states that the only people who would be covered for free contraceptives already have an insurance plan, a plan they have to pay for.
Some of the biggest arguments against the contraceptives mandate come from religious groups.
Believing all life deserves to be lived and procreation is one of the most important parts of having sex, some religious institutions, such as churches, wanted to be exempt from the mandate.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, stated in a news release that churches are excused, but groups such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops didn’t believe it went far enough.
To dispel the backlash from religious groups, President Obama announced during a press conference in Feb. 2012 a compromise that would not require religiously affiliated institutions to offer the coverage, but insurance companies would be required to offer complete coverage for free.
Their outrage is understandable, and it has been cited as an example of disregarding the First Amendment.
There are problems with the mandate though.
One example would be leaving out those women too poor to afford insurance, which also may be the ones who need it the most.
In the end, contraceptives should be fully covered. Not everyone will have to take them, but considering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 62 percent of women in the United States are currently using some form of contraceptive, the option is useful.
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