It's hard to imagine the words "free" and "birth control" being in the same sentence, especially to the women who have spent years paying upwards of $30 for their montly pills. Yet, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which deals exclusively with women's and reproductive issues, has released a new report that suggests birth control should be free and accessible for all American women. New Birth Control Pills Pose Greater Blood Clot Risk
Commisioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the IOM's report is recommending that free birth control, as part of a full range of preventive health services, be included under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The committee issuing the report defined preventive health services as "measures — including medications, procedures, devices, tests, education and counseling — shown to improve well-being, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition."
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For many women, this report is a political victory, as nearly one in three women currently find it difficult to pay for birth control, according to a statement by Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Free preventive care would also help minimize unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion.
But anti-abortion advocates feel that the IOM report advocates abortion. Conservative group the Family Research Council, for instance, says the IOM should focus on "items and services that prevent actual diseases, and not include controversial services just to placate the abortion industry." Would You Trust Your Guy To Take The Male Birth Control Pill?
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The IOM's health care plan doesn't just suggest free birth control, however, but also free HIV tests, HPV genetic testing and better pre-natal care for pregnant women. The IOM is also making an effort to reach out to women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse, looking for ways to offer them information and counseling.
Do you think women should have access to free birth control?