The recent lawsuits involving companies like Hobby Lobby and the national healthcare plan have been making headlines due to the importance of its outcome. As many women are now aware, the Affordable Healthcare Act mandates that companies with 50 or more employees must offer co-pay free contraception options—all options designated as viable by the Food and Drug Administration. Hobby Lobby was one of the companies to object to the government’s mandate regarding female contraception and recently won its case, arguing that it did not believe it should cover contraception options that violated its owners’ religious beliefs.
Contraception Coverage: Benefits for Women
Many women rejoiced at the Affordable Healthcare Act’s coverage for contraception and preventative health services. Those previously unable to afford these basic healthcare services, are increasingly enjoying their benefits. Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies while preventative healthcare services for women can ultimately safeguard their health and enhance their longevity. The challenge to the plan’s contraception coverage has many people angry and worried about the viability of long-term contraception coverage.
Objections to Contraception
It’s worth noting that companies like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties and Eden Foods do not object to all aspects of contraception coverage. These companies do not wish to cover contraception options it believes promote abortion. Although many women and some healthcare experts do not refer to these particular forms of contraception as abortion-inducing, the courts have sided with the companies in a 5-4 ruling. The ruling enables these companies to opt out of the controversial contraception options due to their religious beliefs. They will still have to cover the majority of contraception options, however, but supporters of the healthcare act are still irritated over the court’s decision and worry that it might open the door for other ways to decrease coverage for women.
Hobby Lobby and other companies have objected to contraception offerings such as “the morning after pill” and certain types of intrauterine devices. Although federal and state laws have not deemed these contraception options as abortion-inducing, the court ultimately deemed otherwise, which has many wondering if these options will be challenged by other companies.
Importance of Contraception for Women
Medical experts have already weighed in on the importance of female contraception during the creation of the Affordable Care Act. Statistics show that roughly one in four women in households with an average income less than $75,000 put off purchasing birth control because of its expense. Coverage of contraception ensures that women with reduced means have access to this essential family-planning option. Healthcare experts also state that contraception offers various health benefits by reducing the risk for back-to-back pregnancies and the risk for some cancers. Because birth control is universally in step with the American public’s values, the creators of the national healthcare act believed it was essential to include contraception coverage.
For women interested in the healthcare topic of contraception, this is an important story to keep an eye on. The challenge to contraception coverage, even specific parts of that coverage, may have larger repercussions for the national healthcare plan that are bound to cause a stir.
Center for American Progress, “The High Costs of Birth Control,” https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2012/02/15/11054/the-high-costs-of-birth-control/
Liptak, Adam, “Supreme Court Rejects Contraceptives Mandates for Some Corporations, New York Times, 6/30/14 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/hobby-lobby-case-supreme-court-contraception.html?_r=0
Urist, Jacoba, “Social and Economic Benefits of Reliable Contraception,” The Atlantic, 7/02/14