CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES ABOUT BIRTH CONTOL

Birth control is a major controversial issue for many reasons. Some may believe it should be a useful source to help not have an unwanted or surprised birth. Others may believe that it shouldn’t be allowed because a person should be responsible of their actions. It’s a good thing to use when not wanting to become pregnant but it can also be taken for advantage. Birth control is a good source to prevent teen pregnancy, regular pregnancy, and unprotected sex. There is a law that was recently passed due to birth control. “The Affordable Care Act is the federal health care reform bill that Congress passed and President Obama signed into law in 2010”(Health Care Provider). This law allows private health insurance to offer birth control with little or no charge. The groups of people that birth control can contribute to are teens, young adults and adults. Birth control helps prevent young teen pregnancy to which they have sex at a young age. For those who are adults who want to have intercourses with their husband or significant other without having a child, birth control can help with those decisions.
The main purpose is to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Most woman or young women have sex before they are married and are not ready for a child does take birth control. Johnson states in her article “Woman take the pill by mouth to prevent pregnancy and, when take correctly, is up to 99.9 percent effective”. The con with only taking birth control and not using protection is that birth control can’t prevent disease. If taken as told then you will not get pregnant and it will prevent having an unwanted pregnancy.

Birth control is used for more than protection from pregnancy. It is used to treat certain medical conditions such as Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is also used to regulate periods, and it can reduce your risk of cancer. Is it right to deny coverage of birth control based on only one of its uses? Another issue with the new rule is the denial of coverage on moral grounds. It is not illegal to take birth control. It is not inherently wrong to take birth control. Thus, why can someone else’s moral beliefs interfere with your access to birth control? Why can the insurers or employers say, “I don’t agree with premarital sex, so I’m limiting your ability to do it safely”? It is an infringement on the employees freedom to block their access to a medication that the employer disagrees with. Because the medication does not cause the user harm, it should be up to the individual user if taking the medication is moral or not. One of the big arguments against birth control is that it promotes premarital sex. It does not. It makes premarital sex safer while also assisting other medical issues. Even if it did promote premarital sex, it is not the employer or insurer’s job to pass judgement on those decisions, especially since those decisions are not particularly harmful if done safely. Furthermore, just because an employer or insurer covers birth control, it does not mean they have to encourage its use. Birth control is just one of many things included in health care. So, why is it the one being labelled controversial? Why is it the one being fought over? Birth control is a medical issue just like diabetes or cancer. Lack of access to birth control will not stop people from having sex. It will lead them to do it less safely. We can’t pretend that premarital sex does not happen. And what about the married couples who want to engage in sexual activity without fear of becoming pregnant? Why are they losing their birth control coverage? Birth control is about more than not getting pregnant. It is about women’s reproductive rights. The nature of having and birthing kids leaves a lot of the responsibility on women, so why are we limiting women’s control over the process? Let women have control over their own bodies.

This is the controversy over the contraceptive, or birth-control, mandate in the Affordable Care Act – a high-stakes legal feud that has been unfolding in scores of lawsuits across the country.  It has been running for five years, and so is further along than the just-beginning conflict over the impact on religious belief of the Court’s same-sex marriage ruling last month.

The opposite sides in the birth-control dispute for years have been talking past each other about what the Supreme Court has done about that so far, and what it means, and both sides continue to try to persuade the Court to see the controversy their way.

There is a lot involved, but let’s try to make it simple.

The Supreme Court has attempted to fashion something that it thinks of as a compromise, giving something to each side.  That, in fact, is the very heart of what the Court did last year in its one fully considered ruling in this series — the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.  But the depth of disagreement was newly apparent as the government and the owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores resumed fighting in lower courts over how to carry out the Justices’ decision, and the government keeps rewriting the rules with scant chance of closing the gap between the two sides.

Here is what the Court thought the compromise should be:

For the government, the Court appeared to assure that the ACA mandate providing free access to birth-control drugs and techniques would reach millions of women of child-bearing age, no matter for whom they work or where they go to school or where they get served by a charity.   For religious institutions — non-profits operating colleges, hospitals, and charities, as well as for-profit businesses whose owners are religiously devout — the Court appeared to assure that they do not have to obey the mandate themselves, if they have religious objections to it — as hundreds and maybe thousands of them do.

What is starkly apparent, after the Supreme Court’s eight actions and a string of rulings by lower federal courts, is that there is very little reason to expect the two sides to find common ground on how this controversy should come out in the end.  So far, four new appeals have been filed at the Supreme Court, in pursuit of that outcome, and more are definitely on the way.  It seems quite likely that the Court will take up the issue again at its next Term.

The government in implementing the ACA has been determined, sometimes stubbornly so, to make sure that female employees and students have access to birth control, free of charge, even if their employers or college administrators totally object, for religious reasons, and part of that determination comes from the confidence of officials in Washington that such coverage can be arranged without intruding on anyone’s faith.  Just ask for an exemption, the government promises, and it shall be given.  How, it has wondered, can officials know that a religious group objects if they don’t say so?

But the religious groups that are providers of health insurance for their employees or students insist, sometimes stubbornly so, that there is simply no way that such plans can be rearranged to provide birth-control access without violating the sponsors’ religious beliefs.  Even, they say, when the government takes over their plans, and dictates what they will cover, there is still no break from the sin of facilitating the use of the prohibited methods.  The only way they can protect their faith, they say, is to do nothing at all in response to the mandate, and thus face millions of dollars in fines, or else to shut down their health plans altogether —  so everyone loses.  And, they add, even closing their plans would violate their faith principle that they should take care of their own.

Although it is often quite apparent that each side is deeply suspicious of the other side’s motives, it goes too far to assume that the government is hostile to faith and, similarly, it goes too far to assume that the religious groups are trying to regiment the private lives of their employees and students.  The government notes that it has revised its official rules several times, each time broadening the available religious exemption; so, it asks, why not take advantage of that?  And the religious groups note that they would have no objection if the government itself were the provider of contraceptives; so, they ask, why not just leave us out of it?

These so-far unbridgeable differences, of course, began to emerge soon after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and grew more intense when the government began issuing specific rules to put the Act into effect.  The ACA does not refer to birth control directly, but does require existing group health plans to provide “essential coverage,” which includes “preventive services” for women, free of charge.  Congress told the government to decide how to work that out.

In general, the resulting rules have meant that women must have access, without paying anything, to all of the contraceptives that have the approval of the federal Food and Drug Administration.  Because many religious individuals and institutions, especially those affiliated with the Roman Catholic faith, believe that at least some forms of birth control destroy human life, which they regard as sinful, the ACA mandate and the government rules have been challenged in more than a hundred lawsuits.   About half were filed by non-profit entities which hold that religious view, and the remainder by for-profit companies whose owners object for the same reason.

The government rules gave the non-profits a way to claim an exemption, but not the for-profit businesses.  It was in one of the for-profit firms’ cases, the Hobby Lobby case, that the Supreme Court ruled last year that the for-profit firms, too, had to be allowed to claim an exemption.  That decision also spoke more broadly about the interaction of the problem of religious objection and the goal of assured access to birth control.

Facts about hormonal contraception:

• First generation birth control pills became available in the 1960s and contained only estragon, which increased the risk of blood clots by nine-fold.
• Second generation birth control pills became available a decade later and contained a lower dose of estragon and added progestin, a synthetic hormone. This change in composition made these pills safer and gentler than the first generation.
• Third and fourth generation birth control products were developed to control certain body conditions caused by hormonal imbalances, such as excessive facial hair growth and acne.

Pros of taking the pill:
• 91-98% effective at preventing pregnancy
• Makes menstrual periods lighter and more regular
• Reduces the risk for ovarian and uterine cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts and anaemia

Cons of taking the pill:
• Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections
• Requires strict and consistent dosage times
• Can cause side effects, such as nausea, increased appetite and breast tenderness

Pros of using the vaginal ring:
• Provides a steady stream of hormones
• Is used month to month, instead of daily
• 91-98% effective at preventing pregnancy

Cons of using the vaginal ring:
• Cannot be used by women with diabetes, liver problems, or a history of cardiovascular events
• Higher risk of blood clots

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