Women’s Health Advocates Urge Strong Stance On Birth Control Insurance Coverage

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Obama administration is said to be working toward a compromise on a provision of the health care reform law that requires employer health plans to cover contraceptives (watch related video).

Some religious groups object to the provision, but women’s health groups say it’s an important advance.

Last Sunday, area Catholics heard a letter from Archbishop Charles Chaput, denouncing the regulation as a violation of religious freedom.   The new rule would force many Catholic employers to cover contraceptives in its health plans even though the church officially opposes them.

Chaput warned that Catholic employers might drop health coverage for employees altogether.

Even US senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), a supporter of health care reform, has asked for an exemption for Catholic employers. But women’s health advocates say that would be a step backward.

“The regulation is fundamental to improving women’s health,” says Dayle Steinberg of Planned Parenthood.  She says it also improves overall family health:

“It saves lives, it improves outcomes for children, and importantly, it reduces the need for abortion.”

Advocates estimate that more than 11 million women use contraceptives.  Twenty-eight states, including New Jersey and Delaware, already require employer health plans to cover them.

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One Comment

  1. Ann says:

    Coverage should be offered. It is not the church offering it, it is the insurance company who is insuring all employees, including the many non-Catholic employees who work at these institutions. If you do business and hire employees in the public sector, then you need to offer public sector benefits. And yes, birth control is a health issue for women. How could it not be?

    1. Mary says:

      It is against the law to demand any religion compromise their beliefs. The Catholic Church does not take orders from the government (no religion does). The latest “concession” by Obama is nothing more than a back-door approach to getting contraception coverage. Spacing births is one thing and contraceptives which can be antiabortionists and providing abortion inducing drugs are not morally acceptable no matter who is paying for it.

      1. Mary says:

        Sorry, that should have said “abortifacients”

  2. MonsterInTheWhitHouse says:

    CBS Philly – you are a biased media company – the title of this article should be “Obama Administration Violates The 1st Admendent”. What a stupid senator in Bob Casey. He is so naive – anybody with half a brain could see this coming. So now Bob Casey is regretting his position on Obama Healthcare – only because he is up for re-election. Bob Casey will always remain Harry Reid’s whipping boy, and Obama will always remain a deciever and liar.

  3. Mary says:

    This issue has nothing to do with women’s health. Since when is contraception, sterilization or abortion inducing drugs an issue of health? No government entity has the right to infringe upon anyone’s religious liberty. Maybe someone at HHS would like to explain why there was exemption given to the Amish and Christian Scientists but not to the Catholics? The Catholic Church has a right to defend her beliefs when they are being mishandled by a tyrannical administration.

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