Unaffordable Birth Control Is Costing Women


The Trump Administration has dismantled the protocol under the Affordable Care Act set up by President Obama, that requires insurance companies to provide free birth control. Employers are now able to deny insurance coverage for many forms of birth control due to religious or moral reasons (“The Trump Administration Is Rolling Back the Mandate that Employers Provide Free Birth Control”). However, birth control pills are not just used for sexually active women who wish to avoid pregnancy. Women’s bodies and healthcare should not be subject to their employer. There are a variety of ways the birth control pill can be used aside from contraception.

While birth control pills are intended to prevent pregnancy, in addition, they also offer many health care benefits. Rachel K. Jones writes a study on the advantages of contraceptive pills in the article, “Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraceptive Pills.” Jones states, “ … More than 1.5 million women-rely on the [birth control pill] for only non-contraceptive purposes” (“Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraceptive Pills”). This is nearly 1.5 million women that do not use birth control simply to avoid getting pregnant. This statistic represents women who are now unable to receive treatment for a variety of menstrual-related disorders. Employers should not be able to deny their employee’s birth control when it can be used to treat serious symptoms that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.

Ultimately, what is at stake here is women and their overall quality of life. Sally Holmes goes into detail of the many non-contraceptive reasons a woman could be prescribed birth control in her article, “10 Medical Reasons Why a Woman Might Be Prescribed Birth Control.” Holmes states, “Endometriosis is a condition that causes painful periods and can lead to fertility issues. The pill also protects against endometriosis” (10 Medical Reasons Why a Woman Might Be Prescribed Birth Control). If employers with a moral objection are considered in this matter, then those who need it for non-contraceptive reasons should be as well.

Some have argued that birth control should not be free. Gina Davis’ article, “No, Our Tampons and Birth Control Shouldn’t Be Free”, states that just because something is necessary does not mean it should be paid for with tax dollars. Davis states, “I don’t expect taxes to be taken out of anyone else’s hard-earned paycheck to take care of my lady issues, so why are women expecting that in return?” (“No, Our Tampons and Birth Control Shouldn’t Be Free”). The expectation is not that birth control should be covered completely by tax dollars, but made more affordable through insurance. If women are being denied birth control by their employers, they are having to pay for it out of pocket when it should be considered for all uses not just contraceptive ones.

David Shane argues another reason against affordable birth control in “3 Reasons Why Birth Control Should Not Be Free.” He claims that making contraception free is forcing people to violate their conscience. Shane states, “If your plan to make contraception “free” forces people with a moral objection to help pay for it, then that’s another argument against it” (3 Reasons Why Birth Control Should Not Be Free). There is a large variety of medication available. Companies should not make personal information public to avoid paying for treatment.

Despite providing affordable birth control for non-contraceptive reasons, it is beneficial to make it available for contraceptive reasons as well. Chances are those who are against birth control are also against abortions. Laura Chapin makes a point as to why birth control is beneficial to both conservatives and liberals in the article, “Everyone Wins When Birth Control Is Free.” Chapin states, “If you’re a fiscal conservative who wants fewer abortions and more self-sufficient citizens, why don’t you support the government providing access to free birth control?” (Everyone Wins When Birth Control Is Free). Ultimately, people are not going to stop having sex, and if contraceptives are not affordable they will continue to do so unprotected. This will then urge them to get abortions, which is equally immoral if not more so than birth control in the first place.

Women all throughout the United States could be affected by this depending on their employer and what they feel is morally right. Any woman could be going through a disorder that can be tamed by the use of birth control pills. Disorders such as Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts, and PCOS can all cause infertility that may be prevented by using birth control pills. All should care whether the individual is a young woman attempting to calm the side effects of their menstrual cycle, or a couple who would like to conceive at a later date without having to worry about diagnosed disorders that could potentially prevent them from having children. Birth control pills are for more than preventing pregnancy, they are medicine.

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