Earlier today the White House announced a new compromise on the controversial Affordable Care Act. In a press conference, President Obama announced a change of course meant to satiate embroiled Catholics and conservatives who felt elements of the new law were a violation of conscience. Namely, the part where employers (even those with religious affiliations) must provide employees with insurance including contraceptives. "No woman's health should depend on who she is or where she works," President Obama said. The modified plan will allow employers to object to this inclusion as long as the insurance company reaches out to women instead.
The law, passed last spring, is meant to make preventative health services more accessible to Americans by eliminating co-payments or deductibles. Inclusion of contraceptives in the law has been a hot topic ever since. Conservatives have picked this up as an opportunity to debate the amount of control a woman should have over her body. Despite political divisions, it's an important issue to women everywhere: 99% of American women have used contraceptives at least once in their life, and more than half of women between the ages of 18-34 struggle to afford it.
Reuters has obtained a fact sheet the White House has distributed to select members of Congress that clarifies the finer points of this complex debate. It outlines the benefits of the provision, arguing that access to the health services included will ultimately save money for the insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other services.
Image source feministsforchoice.com