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Birth Control May Soon Be Free For Women—But Not Everyone’s Happy

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Birth control may soon be available for free for millions of women.  The Institute of Medicine has recommended the government require health insurance providers to cover contraception without co-payments.

But as Meghan McCorkell reports, those recommendations are coming under fire.

Most women pay between $15 and $50 for birth control pills.  Now that cost could be going away.

The Institute of Medicine has recommended birth control be included as preventative care for women, requiring health insurance to cover it.

Obstetrician Dr. Beth Aronson says many patients can’t afford contraception.

“It is very frustrating when you feel you can’t give patients what they need and so they end up showing up with an unplanned pregnancy,” Aronson said.

But the Catholic Church is coming out against the new recommendations.  The Archdiocese of Baltimore released a statement urging the government to strike down what it calls “controversial elective practices.”

The statement is from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chair of the church’s committee on pro-life activities.  It says, in part, “The mandate would force all men, women and children to carry health coverage that violates the deeply-held moral and religious convictions of many.”

The church also came down on Planned Parenthood for celebrating the IOM’s recommendation. 

Aronson says she understands the controversy.

“Certainly if people have religious objections to taking these pills or using contraceptives, then that’s their prerogative not to use them.  But for people who don’t have those types of religious beliefs, it should be available,” she said.

She says she just wants what’s best for her patients.

Despite the opposition, there isn’t much the church can do.  The final decision is in the hands of the secretary of Health and Human Services.  That decision is expected by the beginning of next month.

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