In the last few days we have seen an uproar over the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to require religiously affiliated employers to provide health insurance plans that cover contraceptives.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one thinking that this is ridiculous. The media, in its pursuit of “balance,” has been covering this issue as if those in favor of the policy are roughly equal in number to those who oppose it. This is untrue. I’ve said it once and I will say it again:
Contraception. Is. Not. Controversial.
Contraception is basic health care. It is almost universally used. It allows women to control their bodies and plan their families. Access to birth control means fewer abortions, which everyone favors.
The Planned Parenthood Action Center has started an online campaign called “I Use Birth Control” to give the 99% of women who use contraceptives a chance to speak out. Take a picture of yourself with your birth control and send it to Planned Parenthood over Facebook or Twitter. Follow the campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #iusebirthcontrol.
In the meantime, here are some “contraception-is-normal” facts:
- 99% of sexually active American women use contraception at some point during their reproductive years
- 98% of sexually active Catholic American women use contraception at some point during their reproductive years
- A majority of women support requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives without a co-pay
- The average American woman uses birth control for 30 years of her life
- 28 states already require insurance companies to cover contraceptives
- It would cost employers 15 to 17% more not to offer an insurance plan that covers contraceptives
Obama-Biden 2012: Contraception Facts
Guttmacher Institute: Facts on Contraceptive Use in the United States
Public Religion Research Institute: Majority of Catholics Favor Requiring Employers to Offer Health Insurance Plans that Cover No-Cost Birth Control