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The Case for Contraception

The truth is that contraception saves lives, prevents unplanned pregnancies, improves outcomes for children and reduces the number of abortions.

For the past 25 years as an adoption attorney, I have witnessed the extraordinary courage and compassion of women - from age 14 to 40 - facing unplanned pregnancy. Not once did I believe that the government should interfere with their personal and private decision. In fact, I believe in less government interference in people’s personal lives, including whom to marry, when and whether to bear a child and how to raise kind and compassionate children.

But now, U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, R-CD-2 and N.H. House Speaker Bill O’Brien, R-Mount Vernon, want to deny access to family planning and impose their own religious beliefs on our most private and personal family decisions. For over a decade, health insurers in New Hampshire have included family planning in our health care coverage, including prescription birth control pills and the accompanying physician visits. For over a decade, no one has raised any objection to this provision.

The truth is that contraception saves lives, prevents unplanned pregnancies, improves outcomes for children and reduces the number of abortions.  As an adoption attorney, I know firsthand how difficult and how private these choices are for New Hampshire women. Now, thanks to health care reform, women across the country with private health insurance have access to family planning, including birth control, without additional expense to their family budget. Women will make their own private decisions about when and whether to raise a child and children will be raised in loving, supportive families. Everyone wins.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “99% of all sexually experienced women have used some method of contraception.” Bass and O’Brien partnering up to repeal the birth control coverage benefit will roll back one of the biggest advancements for women’s health under the guise of respecting religious freedom. No one — not Bass nor O’Brien — should be able to pick and choose the health care women in New Hampshire can access under their private health insurance coverage.  

I stand with the majority of Americans who believe that women will make the right choice for their families and everyone will win.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

ForThePeople March 09, 2012 at 12:19 AM
I would be interested in hearing how the left has a systemic bigotry problem. Do tell. The issue of selfishness is clearly evident with your statement about your personal experience with birth control. You don't consider folks that have issues with cysts or anemia, for example. You don't consider women that can't afford it. It's not all about you. How about listening to other women that are having a problem? For a lot of women, they rely on their employer and the jobs that they have for their services. It's not as simple as saying "just get a new job." You cannot single out birth control as being the one thing that nobody wants to pay for without singling out a variety of services that I don't want to pay for. That's society. If I don't want to be in the same pool as you and pay for your childbirth, your kid to go to school, your glasses, or anything else, would you mind if that was part of my religion? We all have things that we don't want to pay for. It's time to be an adult about it.
salem mom March 09, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Didn't mean to imply that my experience with birth control and pregnancy was to exclude others needs and experiences. I just meant that i had educated myself on the risks of the various types of birth control and pregnancies before and after age 35 (i.e. advanced maternal age). It is currently possible for anemic women in the church plans to get the BCP becuase it is a hormone the reduces bleeding and not necessarily a hormone to prevent pregnancy. Actually I'll take that back, i assume it is becuase i have a friend who worked at a catholic hospital who's daughter took BCP as a teenager to reduce acne. It was a hormone prescription covered b/c it was used as a hormone and not birth control. So when this type of birth control is used as medicine to treat illness, the situation is already dealt with. For those that cant afford regular birth control (to prevent pregnancy), there are many options (if they are not able to switch jobs) planned parenthood is able to provide birth control at roughly the same cost as an insurance plan (my copay for BCP is $20 per month). if you struggle financially, even $20 per month is pretty steep, what copay would be required for the church plans? I don't think the difference in opinoin is about women that need the pill for health reasons. What about the women that don't need the pill for health reasons, but just want it so they can have sex without getting pregnant? Is that collateral damage to get the benefit for those that do?
salem mom March 09, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Oh and for the record, i did not state that there is systemic ignorant bigotry on the left side of the political spectrum. I merely said there are equal number of ignorant bigots across the political spectrum.
ForThePeople March 10, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Your argument keeps jumping around. Now you are talking about a Rush Limbaugh argument, women having "too much sex." It doesn't matter if you have sex once a week or you got raped once last year, the birth control pill is the same. What you have here is the haves and have-nots. There are a lot of people hiding behind religion because they "have." Do you know the costs(monetary and otherwise) to the insurance company, to society, and to the mother of an unexpected child? If you want to ignore the health benefits of birth control, consider that unplanned pregnancy is a costly outcome. You are not going to control other peoples bodies, as much as you wish you could I'm sure. People are going to have sex. The question is, what outcome do you see with birth control and without birth control? How does this make sense in your mind, and more importantly, how can you vote against other women? Are you so well-off that anyone that's not like you be damned? I think we can expect that health coverage for women be covered. For a religious employer, if they think the insurance company is passing the buck on to them, get a new insurance company. I pay for a lot of things that I don't want to. That's society, welcome to the club. Birth control is just one of those things that make so much sense for the woman and for society that it's a nonsensical issue.
Paul Mercury March 11, 2012 at 06:43 AM
@ Dane "Republicans have always been the party of smaller government..." Absolutely untrue. A very popular myth. "Big government gets bigger" "George W. Bush rode into Washington almost eight years ago astride the horse of smaller government. He will leave it this winter having overseen the biggest federal budget expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt seven decades ago." http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/19/big-government-gets-bigger/?page=all

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