Stepping into the world of Social Work

A little evidence we are right to be worried


Two articles on the birth control issue caught my eye today, both indicating that reproductive rights advocates are correct in pushing back.

The first is Mitt Romney, stating that he’ll “get rid” of Planned Parenthood. This is very troubling for a number of reasons, but the biggest concern comes from the very arguments of those who are attacking the recent health insurance mandate and even coming up with new legislation allowing ANY employer to opt out for vague conscience reasons. They claim that employers should be able to do this to protect their freedom of religion, and the employee can just go to Planned Parenthood.

Well if these same people had their way, Planned Parenthood wouldn’t even exist! You can’t rely on something in one argument that you are actively seeking to eliminate in another.

Second, an Arizona law requiring that women obtaining birth control prescriptions may be expected to prove to their employer that there is a medical need.  The Huffington Post article does a good job of explaining it. The picture above was going round as a “permission slip for contraception coverage,” which made the concern quite clear. And despite Rachel Larimore’s column on Slate claiming it is insulting and misleading, our fears have turned out to be right on!

It is clear that if we allow the Right to have their way, women will not receive the medical care they need. They are far more concerned about the poor embattled employer having to buck up and provide health care coverage that meets a standard determined by medical and public health experts, rather than religious leaders. Yes, a few exemptions should exist, but they would be for actual churches, not giant universities or hospital chains. Very small employers are also exempt from these mandates, protecting those businesses, as well.

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