By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
In a recent radio interview, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the government should make the public funding of birth control a priority because fewer children saves money in the long run.
LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that in an appearance on the Bill Press radio show, Richards explained: “I think it’s important, Bill, to understand that unlike some other issues of cost, birth control is one of those issues that actually saves the government money. So an investment in covering birth control actually in the long run is a huge cost savings because women don’t have children that they weren’t planning on having and all the sort of attendant cost for unplanned pregnancy,” she said.
“So we actually feel that covering birth control is not only the right thing to do for women, it’s good for women, it’s good for their health care, but it’s frankly good public policy.”
She went on to say that universal availability of artificial birth control is a “no-brainer” because it’s the “most normative medical care that exists in America.”
The production and distribution of artificial birth control is already a multi-billion dollar industry in America, but Planned Parenthood wants a larger slice of the pie. LifeSite reports that they have joined forces with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the launching of a new campaign, “Birth Control Matters,” aimed at pressuring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make sure all prescription contraception is covered by health insurers under “preventive care.”
Rita Diller, the national director of Stop Planned Parenthood International, indicated that the true reason for the abortion giant’s campaign was not expanded contraceptive availability, but an expanded profit margin.
“In reality, birth control is already widely available to women and even young girls, on a sliding scale basis, so that those who cannot afford the dangerous steroidal pills can receive them at little or no cost,” Diller told LifeSiteNews.com. Therefore, she said, covering all birth control as preventive care “will not increase its availability, but will dramatically increase Planned Parenthood’s profit margin, by not only requiring new private health plans to cover 100 percent of the cost, but also requiring state Medicaid programs to pay 100 percent of the cost for all Medicaid recipients.”
Thanks to the testimony of P. Victor Gonzalez, a former Planned Parenthood chief financial officer, we know that the nation’s largest abortion chain already purchases contraceptives “at rock bottom prices and resells it at up to 12 times its acquisition cost.”
Diller warns: “If Medicaid is required to pay 100 percent of the price Planned Parenthood charges for prescription birth control, they will be laughing all the way to the bank, at our expense.”
Thankfully, the U.S. bishops are challenging Planned Parenthood’s campaign. They sent a letter to the HHS on October 12 in which they said birth control cannot be considered “preventive health” because it’s not a disease condition.
“[Contraception] is almost always prescribed for personal or lifestyle reasons, not for any specific medical justification, and it poses its own serious risks and side-effects, some of which can be life-threatening,” they wrote. “Use of prescription contraception actually increases a woman’s risk of developing some of the very conditions that the ‘preventive’ listed in the Interim Final Rules are designed to prevent.”
The bishops also noted that forcing health insurers to cover birth control would amount to “an unprecedented threat to rights of conscience for religious employers.”
“Currently, [employers and insurance providers] are completely free under federal law to purchase and offer health coverage that excludes these procedures,” they wrote. “They would lose this freedom of conscience under a mandate for all plans to offer contraception and sterilization coverage.”
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