Birth Control could be free

Lexis Galloway
Journal Staff

There is no argument as to the controversy that has amounted over the issue of contraceptives over past decades. Now, because of the historic health care pill bill passed by the Obama Administration, birth control contraceptives could soon become free under the law. It is easy to predict the conflict bound to arise of over personal morals and what should be considered free preventative care for women.

With more than 93 million prescriptions for birth control last year alone, it’s not as if contraceptives are a hidden secret. So is there harm in making them free and more accessible for women in the U.S.?

Almost all contraceptives and birth control were discounted, some as low as $9, under the previous healthcare system. If funded under the new law, taxpayers will only save more money. Additional benefits of widely available contraceptives have proven to be not only essential to preventing unwanted pregnancy and abortions, but also are seen as a key part of family planning.

On the other hand, however, some religious conservatives don’t see the use of contraceptives as a form of health care and therefore do not support the need to cover contraceptives as preventive care.

Although many religious groups and figures have stayed out of the discussion thus far, government advisors will soon begin the deliberation as to what will be considered preventive health care, and most likely the growing controversy between social norms and moral values.

Nowadays, birth control, the morning after pill, and other contraceptives seem more conventional and accepted as a somewhat typical norm for women. It is safe to say just about everyone knows someone who uses birth control, and the growing use of the pill and IUDs are only going to become more prevalent in the coming years.

More positive changes can be made if preventive health care, like the pill, is covered for no cost. Studies taking place show that more women are beginning to use IUDs and other long lasting contraceptives over the pill, which have a much higher success rate. People say this shift in contraceptives will eventually provide more reliable birth control for women and save even more money.

One can look at other countries that have provided contraceptives free under health care law and see the decrease in teen pregnancy and abortion rates. So I ask again, where lies the issue in providing free contraceptives for women?

In a way, I can see where the moral debate comes into play, and 50 years ago it would most definitely have been controversial, but times have changed, and with it, the acceptance of birth control use.

The involvement of Planned Parenthood, a leading abortion provider, backing the issue has further concerned religious conservatives enough to equate some contraceptives, like the pill, directly with abortion.

Ultimately, this only comes down to an ethical issue. One can sympathize with the idea of not wanting to pay for something that they think is morally wrong, but if allowed, this reform will only save taxpayers money in the future. The pros seem to outweigh the cons. I cannot exactly see another problem.

This is the beginning of what could arise as the next debate over moral values and modern social customs. The next nine months will decide the future of contraceptives what will be considered preventive health care and one can only watch as the ongoing debate divulges into a new chapter.