This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Politics of Contraception

One can only ask: What is the White House thinking? Robert Pear of the New York Times reports that the White House is thinking about going along with an exemption to the new health care law that would permit employers to opt out of a plan that provided contraceptive services to their employees.
A dispute has erupted between President Obama and Democrats in Congress over a proposal to broaden the exemption from new rules that require health insurance plans to cover contraceptives for women free of charge.The National Academy of Sciences recommended that the government adopt such a requirement. And Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, announced in August that she had done so.But after protests by Roman Catholic bishops, charities, schools and universities, the White House is considering a change that would grant a broad exemption to health plans sponsored by employers who object to such coverage for moral and religious reasons.
Churches may already qualify for an exemption. The proposal being weighed by the White House would expand the exemption to many universities, hospitals, clinics and other entities associated with religious organizations.

This just boggles my mind. It is quite one thing if a woman chooses not to avail herself of contraceptive services because she does not believe in contraception for religious or moral reasons. It is a vastly different thing, in my opinion, for the government to allow an employer to make that decision for the woman. The injustice of that seems so obvious that I can't believe we are really talking about it as a possibility.

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