Home / Opinions / ObamaCare’s promise for access to birth control for all under attack again

ObamaCare’s promise for access to birth control for all under attack again

U.S President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Written by Jada Dukes, Staff Writer

In October of 2010, President Obama officially signed the Affordable Care Act into law and in 2012 the Obama administration put forth several provisions to the Affordable Care Act that would directly benefit women.

The provisions were put into place to give American women access to the healthcare they desperately need and deserve. According to the ObamaCare website, only about 12 percent of the healthcare plans sold in the individual market offered maternity coverage and women were paying $1 billion more than men each year for identical health plans in the individual market before the ACA.

With the Affordable Care Act, women are given access to many different forms of healthcare including but not limited to gestational diabetes screening, domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling, and HIV screening and counseling for sexually active women.

One provision in particular has been seen to be quite troublesome by many religious figures and organizations. In 2014, this was brought to the attention of the Supreme Court when the Christian corporation, Hobby Lobby, argued that providing their employees with healthcare plans that give them access to certain forms of birth control would go against the religious beliefs held by the corporation.

According to Cosmopolitan, the Supreme Court agreed to allow “for-profit businesses like Hobby Lobby to sign a form objecting to the coverage, and the federal government would then step in to facilitate the insurance company to provide the healthcare directly to the employee.”

Cosmo also reports that this is the same process used for all non-profit religious groups other than churches. After the ruling, it seemed as though everyone had come to a truce, but unfortunately it seems this issue has reared its ugly head yet again in the form of Zubik v. Burwell.

According to Cosmopolitan, Zubik v. Burwell “is a consolidation of several lower court cases” and the plaintiffs are arguing that “the administration’s requirement that all insurance plans offer no-copay contraception to those it insures is a violation of the religious beliefs of those religious nonprofits and advocacy groups.”

The plaintiffs also feel the 2014 Supreme Court ruling is a violation of their religious liberty and “feel they are being forced into being complicit in the act of providing birth control for their employees.”

The Zubik case can be compared to that of a greedy child who has already had dinner but insists that they are still hungry. The Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was more than fair. The Supreme Court found a way to give both parties what they wanted without there being any substantial afflictions on either end.

Although the religious groups are being required to choose healthcare providers that offer forms of contraception may not be ideal, it is still fair because they are not being forced to pay for these forms of contraception. This is such a small problem amidst so many extensive evils facing Americans today. If we put more effort into learning to respect each other’s differences and chose to promote love instead of hate every single person in this country would be better off.


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