Holy Hormones Honey!: According to Theroux, women seeking contraceptive care delivered with dignity, privacy, and in accordance with their own choices, will become increasingly problematic when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes full effect in 2014.
War on Women?
Mary L. G. Theroux, Senior Vice President, The Independent Institute
August 13, 2012
The contraception mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) went into effect this month with little fanfare, and will likely continue to receive little attention for some time, as the grandfathering of existing policies, as well as various exemptions from its provisions, make it far from universal and equally as far from a true resolution.
The mandate provides that eventually all insurance plans will pay the costs, in full, of all contraception coverage: all drugs, devices, and procedures, including the cost of birth control pills, injections, inserts, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures — at no cost to the insured. There are no increased premiums, no co-pays, no deductibles, or any other mitigating costs. When the provision was first revealed earlier this year, it elicited tremendous outrage primarily from religious employers, who objected to being made to pay for goods and services contrary to their religious beliefs. Supporters of the provision countered that they wouldn’t have to pay since insurance companies are legally obligated to bear the cost in full. However, most larger denominations self-insure, meaning they pay their employees’ health care costs out of internal resources set aside for that purpose, and so have won temporary exemption from the provision as it undergoes legal review.
This issue escalated in recent weeks, when a for-profit private HVAC equipment manufacturer owned by a Catholic family that also self-insures, received a temporary injunction from a U.S. district judge against having to comply with the Aug. 1 mandate.
Supporters of the mandate have framed this action as a “War on Women.” Is it?
Modern American feminists might be surprised to learn that the fight for women’s rights was first lead primarily by Christians. In research collected in the Independent Institute book, Freedom, Feminism, and the State, leading female policy analysts examine Christian teachings of equality and the equitable endowment of inalienable rights for every individual. These were the principles women appealed to when spearheading the abolitionist movement, then later in the fight for equal rights for women following the Civil War.
Fast-forward 120 years, and we see that our foremothers’ dreams have largely been achieved. Yet, there is a growing schism within the feminist movement between those who view natural rights as inherent and inalienable and those who seek government’s bestowal of equal rights for women.