LegalWorks Apostolate - Counsel for a Culture of Life

Huge, wonderful, and important????

By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge

Those three words are the introduction to an August 1, 2011 email sent out by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) regarding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision to require "all new insurance plans to cover birth control without co-pays."

While I would agree this is "huge" and "important" (in the sense of its potential effect), it is anything but "wonderful."

Ignoring for a moment the many reasonable objections to mandating insurance plans to cover birth control with no co-pays, it is important to acknowledge that the HHS decision is based on flawed assumptions provided by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

As Greg Schleppenbach, Director of the Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities for the Nebraska Catholic Conference recently pointed out, the basis of IOM's recommendation is that greater access to birth control will reduce unintended pregnancies. However, ". . . the overwhelming body of evidence . . . does not support the assertion that greater access to [birth control] will reduce unintended pregnancies."

Schleppenbach has posted the evidence he refers to here.

HHS has given us 60 days to comment on its mandate and secretary Kathleen Sebelius needs to be reminded of the facts.

I implore you to send a kind, but factual email to Secretary Sebelius.

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