birth control

Yes, They Are Coming for No-Copay Birth Control—and It Will Hurt Moms

A close up of a packet of birth control pills

The Trump administration drafted a new rule could roll back former President Barack Obama’s preventative care mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the part that counted contraception as preventative care and offered to women with no co-pay. This mandate actually worked: It saved American women $1.4 billion just in 2013. That’s nothing to quibble about.

For parents, this means planning the size of your family could be harder than ever–and that’s kind of ridiculous in 2017 when your iPhone can answer questions for you. Republicans believe, of course, that it violates employers’ religious beliefs to ask insurance to subside contraception.

They are expanding the infamous Hobby Lobby case, as pointed out by New York Times—where the company essentially didn’t want to cover birth control because it’s sinful in the owners’ (fundamentalist Christian) eyes.

So, what does this actually mean for women and moms, especially considering it’s also getting harder to get abortions? It means women will be paying more out of pocket, which means less money for actually raising their families or just being humans.

This is ironic because abortion has been on the decline because of better birth control access. In 2013, before contraception became more affordable, 20 percent of American women were paying for birth control out of pocket–so this rule undoes this–making it harder for moms to afford the necessities, like diapers, food, birth control, child care, and more.

Moms make up 59 percent of women have abortions. That means six in ten women who access the procedure are mothers, according to the Guttmacher Institute. So, in this sense, this directly affects families, whether people want to admit it or not–not just teens or single women who Republicans often use to demonize abortion and birth control as an “irresponsible” way for women to just have all the sex they want (which is also like no one’s business to judge).

Better access to birth control to results in a decrease in maternal and infant deaths, because women have more access to limiting their pregnancies and unwanted abortions, especially in parts of the world that have limited access to abortion to begin with. This also includes the fact that many women use birth control to treat health conditions, like endometriosis.

Does this also mean that religious groups can stop covering treatments they don’t believe in (because they don’t want to “pay” for it), like STI or HIV treatments, immunizations, and more?

Because using this logic, that’s where this could go.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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