Birth Control Most Controversial Provision
Three years after Congress approved President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, contraceptive care remains its most controversial provision, drawing not only more comments than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide, according to analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.
Catholic church leads opposition
More than 147,000 people and organizations have voiced their opinion on the debate with most opposing the provision that gives women access to preventive services including contraception for free. The Catholic Church has led the opposition, urging parishioners to write with messages such as “Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs and surgeries to prevent it are not basic health care that the government should require all Americans to purchase.” This is despite a recent New York Time/CBS New poll that shows the number of Catholics who are against the contraceptive mandate is dropping from two-thirds a year ago to half in March. The pool also founds more Catholics see the isse as being about “women’s health and their rights” than “religious freedom.”
Women’s groups and liberal organizations have also organized over the issue For example, the National Organization for Women sent out an alert in 2011 giving activists suggested language such as “Birth control is basic health care for all women, and the federal government should not permit a solitary religious viewpoint to override good public health policy.”
President seeks compromise
Obama has been trying to reach a compromise with the Catholic community and other religious groups without success. In February, Catholic bishops said they opposed his most recent attempt, which would exempt churches, religious organizations and some religiously affiliated hospitals, universities and social service agencies from paying directly for birth control. Instead, health insurance companies would pay for the coverage. So far federal courts have differed over the legality of the contraceptive provision, and observers expect that the issue will come to the Supreme Court.
The second remarked upon regulation requiring health insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions got only 4,600 comments.
Article by Executive Editor Mark Heckathorn