Hadley Heath

 

The heated public debate about the HHS mandate requiring employers to cover contraception has brought out the worst in “feminist” organizations. It’s time to blow the whistle: They’ve resorted to creating outright fiction in order to fundraise and fear-monger.  Sadly, upon examination, many of their claims go beyond the usual political spin, to outright untruths that are actually destructive to women’s empowerment.

Lie #1:  Women don't have access to birth control.  This time last year, did you know that American women faced such a crisis in accessing contraception?  No, you didn’t, because there simply is no crisis.  Any woman in the United States can get her hands on birth control.  In fact, as Planned Parenthood points out, 98 percent of all American women who’ve had sex have used contraception.  To get the pill, a woman needs an appointment at her doctor’s office or a local health clinic.  But women can also buy condoms, which are available at practically every drugstore and gas station, as well as at hundreds of public schools in the U.S.

Lie #2:  Contraception is prohibitively expensive.  Many women in the U.S. qualify for free birth control, even without health insurance.  If you don’t qualify for free birth control, here’s one good low-cost option: Wal-mart offers some oral contraceptives at $9 a month.   And the American Pregnancy Association says condoms cost 20¢ to $2.50 each.

Lie #3:  Without the HHS mandate, employers will drop contraceptive coverage.  This one is just plain odd since, as of today – without a mandate in place – 90 percent of employers who offer health insurance offer a plan that covers contraception.  Yes, that's without a mandate forcing them to do so.   Twenty-eight states also already have rules that require employers to cover birth control in the company’s insurance plan, with the statutes varying on what kind of exemption is offered to religious employers.


Hadley Heath

Hadley Heath is a Policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum.