Lowey Speaks Out Against Opposition To Contraceptive Coverage

Denying women access to birth control would prevent them from getting basic health care. That was the argument made by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester) and Reina Schiffrin, president/CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, who spoke on a conference call today about the opposition to providing contraceptives from two for-profit corporations.

“Birth control is basic health care for women,” said Schiffrin. “99 percent of American women between 19 and 44 who are sexually active used birth control.” 

Schiffrin said the Affordable Care Act’s provision that health insurance coverage includes birth control might be the biggest health care advancement for women in a generation.

The Supreme Court last week agreed to hear arguments against the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that for-profit corporations include contraception coverage in employees' insurance plans. Schiffrin cautioned that upholding those challenges could set a precedent and put for-profit corporations in a position to make medical coverage decisions that in the future could possibly limit employees’ access to blood transfusions, vaccines or mental illness treatments.

“I see a much bigger issue in having employers cherry pick medical coverage based on their personal belief,” she said.

Lowey said it is a critical issue for women.

“Health care decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor – not by her boss, not by insurance companies, and not by lawmakers in Washington,” said Lowey.

“Women's health should always be left in the hands of America's women and their families.” 

Schiffrin said her organization assists 37,000 patients annually in Rockland and Westchester counties with family planning services.

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration acted to ensure that no church or similar religious institution would be forced to provide contraception coverage and made an accommodation for non-profit religious organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds. Lowey said there is distinction between religious institutions and religious affiliated institutions, which would be required under the Affordable Care Act to offer health plans with contraception coverage. 

“It’s very important that the health care (coverage) be comprehensive for all people,” said Lowey.


Shel Haas December 03, 2013 at 06:45 PM
If contraceptive coverage is essential for women, isn't it also essential coverage for men? Both parties are involved in conception! If the Affordable Health Care Act has a special provision only for women, it is faulty in its construction and therefore should be declared null and void regardless of its other problems.
ADK December 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
shel, surely you must agree that the different sexes have unique medical needs...pap smears and prostate exams come to mind...taken to an extreme, what if the company owner's religious beliefs prohibited children's vaccinations? Souls they be excluded from the health care plan? Religion and health care cannot be linked
Shel Haas December 03, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Are you aware that certain religious groups are excluded from compliance to the Affordable Care Act at present? Their religion prohibits involvement with any form of insurance!
The Righter December 04, 2013 at 08:40 AM
“Women's health should always be left in the hands of America's women and their families.” If that is the case, then let women make those choices and plan accordingly, rather than mandating that insurance companies provide it for them. With each new mandate comes some corresponding "right." Will it ever end? I ask that rhetorically, I do not actually want an answer because I know what it is.
Brian December 04, 2013 at 09:08 AM
Shel, I agree that men should be equally responsible for contraception. Isn't that why Planned Parenthood gives out condoms to anybody, man or women, who walks in and asks for them?
Shel Haas December 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM
If Brian is correct, why is there a special concern for women in the law and not men?
Eileen Peterson March 20, 2014 at 07:56 PM
This is not about women or healt care. This is about $$$$


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