There has been a lot of talk lately about the contraception mandate of the health care bill. Many people fighting about the merits of it, how to apply it and so forth. To me, it comes down to realizing that reproductive care is elective, not required medically.
I am not saying reproductive care isn’t important, but the things that this mandate wants to make free for all women aren’t necessary for the continued health of those women. So why are we thinking of taking tax payer money to fund those things? I know I have moral issues with the morning after pill. I DO NOT want my tax money, even one cent of it, to fund a “cure” for what I consider careless behavior (outside of rape and incest of course!). You aren’t ready to handle being a mom? Great, get birth control that you know how to use properly and use it properly. Or, don’t have sex… there’s your FREE option!
Right now, female employees DO HAVE ACCESS to these services! Yes, they need to pay a co-pay first, but we all need to do that for any kind of care. Co-pays are generally around $30 per visit, then you also pay for any prescriptions you need. In this case it is birth control pills or the morning after/plan B pill. I know first hand how expensive those items can be and I would like to see costs reduced.
However, to say that this particular area of health care needs to be free is ludicrous at best. When my husband and I decided to not have any more kids, he went and got a vasectomy. THAT was not free at all, but we accepted that in order for us to severely minimize the risk of another pregnancy, and this was the best step we could take.
Out of pockets expenses are just that. You choose to do something that is not medically necessary and insurance doesn’t cover it. There are few cases where birth control pills are medically necessary, and those tend to be more for the comfort of the woman during her cycle. I can think of no medical necessity for the plan B pill. You don’t even KNOW if you are pregnant, so there can be no complications as of yet from a pregnancy.
This mandate is an over reach of our government into our lives. A woman’s reproductive care is between her and her doctor. If she is serious about not getting pregnant before she gets married, then she will find a way to afford it. A year’s worth of the pill costs about $400. That’s about $33 a month. I can think of three things I can cut out of my budget each month to cover that amount. But then again, I assume responsibility for my actions.
Every choice has a consequence. My story about the vasectomy? Yeah, we procrastinated, so instead of two kids we have three. Four days after our youngest was born was when it finally got done. We made a choice to delay and it had a pretty expensive consequence. Not once, in all the drama of having a 3rd child, did I think about how the government should have made birth control free so I wouldn’t have had another child.
I will end with this thought for those out there that have decided that making someone pay for their care is equal to denying them that care: It’s not about denying access to reproductive care. It’s about not giving “FREE” reproductive care others have to pay for regardless of their personal beliefs.