by Max Brantley
A big victory for women's health today. The Obama administration has ordered most employer health plans to provide coverage for contraception without co-pays, thus affording women the same insurance coverage for family planning that men are given for Viagra.
Religious groups had pushed for broad exemptions for employers with religious affiliations. The Obama administration rejected that. Churches and religious organizations that employ primarily people of the same faith will be exempted.
Contraception, of course, prevents unwanted pregnancies or problem pregnancies that sometime lead to abortion. Many conservatives seem to believe sex should not come without a cost. This is the sort of difference a president can make. I think most believe insurance coverage of birth control pills is sound policy. But, having watched South Carolina people cheer Republican buffoonery last night, I'm not so sure.
Said Nancy Keenan of Pro-Choice America:
All women should have access to contraceptive coverage, regardless of where they work. The administration stood firm against intensive lobbying efforts from anti-birth-control organizations trying to expand the refusal option even further to allow organizations and corporations to deny their employees contraceptive coverage. As a result, millions will get access to contraception—and they will not have to ask their bosses for permission.