Contraception

Kurt:S via Flickr Creative Commons

It seems like we’ve been hearing for years about a male birth control pill is in development that will  soon be available… so, what’s taking so long? Jalees Rehman is a cell biologist and physician at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He wrote an article for Aeon Magazine discussing what he calls “society’s failure to produce male contraceptive options beyond the condom or the vasectomy,” and spoke with us about the future of the male pill.

 

The New Hampshire House has moved to reconsider passage of a controversial bill requiring pregnant women to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. The bill would also require them to receive explicit information on fetal development.

North Country representatives were evenly split on the vote for House Bill 1546, which NHPR reported allows “any employer with a religious objection to deny workers insurance coverage for contraceptives.”

Supporters of the bill said it was about religious freedom.

Opponents note the Catholic church helped draft the bill and say it supports its anti-contraception views.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

 The New Hampshire House voted to allow any employer with a religious objection to deny workers insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Adding an exemption to New Hampshire’s 12-year-old law requiring contraceptives be covered in all drug plans has become a priority for House Speaker William O'Brien. And his leadership team pushed the bill through over strong objection from Democrats and a gallery full of protesters.

Thursday New Hampshire’s senators voted along party lines as the Senate rejected an amendment to unwind a controversial new contraceptive rule from the Obama Administration. 

Instead of requiring religious institutions to provide birth control in their health care plans, the White House pivoted and is now forcing insurance companies to provide contraception free of charge. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s amendment would have allowed employers to decide their own coverage based upon their religious beliefs. Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte supported the amendment.

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

Todd Bookman, NHPR

 

The resolution asks the federal government to undo a rule requiring insurance companies to provide contraceptives to employees of religious organizations.

House republican leaders say religious liberty is in jeopardy under the federal rule, even though it no longer requires religious organizations to directly pay for contraceptives. House Speaker William O’Brien says the 227-to-121 vote sends the message that either way, the requirement’s intent is simply wrong.

While Rick Santorum and the Catholic Church are continuing to fuel backlash over the Obama administration’s compromise to allow insurance companies to cover birth control for employees of faith-based organizations, new polling d

The New Hampshire House will likely vote next week to ask the federal government to rescind a rule forcing insurers to provide contraceptives to employees of religious organizations. House Speaker William O'Brien says he'll also work to undo a similar state law. 

O’Brien told the house state and federal relations committee it's unconstitutional for governments, federal or state, to tell insurers to offer contraception to workers at religious organizations.

There's been no let-up in the debate about the Obama administration's rule requiring most employers to provide prescription birth control to their workers without additional cost.

Here's the rub: The only truly novel part of the plan is the "no cost" bit.

The rule would mean, for the first time, that women won't have to pay a deductible or copayment to get prescription contraceptives.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.

Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.

Access to emergency contraception has swirled at the center of a recent flurry of debate over insurance coverage. It's a pill women can take if their birth control fails or they forget to use it.

The most popular brand of emergency contraception is called "Plan B One-Step." You might better know it as the morning-after pill. Today, about 10 percent of sexually active women say they've used it.