Alvaré: End Abortion and Contraception Mandates

In an op-ed appearing in The Washington Examiner, Professor Helen Alvaré states that if the President wants to give women control over their own healthcare, abortion and contraception mandates in the healthcare law should end. 

Alvaré argues that under the healthcare law women who do not want abortion coverage in their health care policies may have as few as one policy excluding abortion from which to choose, thus limiting their options. 

She adds that contraceptive coverage will be "imposed on women, whether they want it or not, 'automatically,' including drugs, devices, and surgeries, and accompanying 'education and counseling' for any daughters I have --- with guarantees of 'privacy' so I will never know what is happening."

Women who want contraceptives at a lower cost make think the healthcare law extends their freedom, says Alvaré, but "What they may not realize is that supporters of the mandate are avowedly trying to change their behavior --- to move women from their current methods of contraception to more expensive 'long-acting reversible contraceptives' like the IUD and implant, which work for years and can only be removed by a doctor."

Obamacare limits freedom on abortion, contraception, The Washington Examiner, October 15, 2012. By Helen M. Alvaré.

"The president can obviously say what he wants, but I wish he wouldn't say that a law means its opposite. When it comes to women's reproductive health, the new health law shows no regard for women's ability to make their own decisions.

"Polls show that most women don't want abortion in their health coverage (68 percent, according to a poll taken in fall 2009, as the health care debate began). Most insurance companies still include it, but enrollees can always ask that it be taken out, and may get their way if they band together. The new health care law changes this balance of power by giving insurance companies more power to make such unilateral decisions."

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