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Should the government keep the birth control mandate?

Screen shot from MSNBC's YouTube video: Donald Trump Administration Rolling Back Obama-Era Birth Control Mandate | MSNBC
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Friday, the Health and Human Services department issued new regulations that greatly increase the number of companies and groups that can opt out of the Obamacare birth control mandate under religious and moral objections. This is fulfilling a promise President Trump made on the campaign trail to religious conservatives.

No one truly knows what the impact of this will be on women because no one knows how many companies will use this option. It is estimated, though, that as many as 55 million women will go from paying nothing for their birth control to paying at least something out of pocket, and an estimated 120,000 of them will begin paying full price.  These women combined saved approximately $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket expenses for birth control in a single year. This leads us to the question of the day: Should the United States government keep the birth control mandate?

The people who feel that the government should mandate free birth control have many reasons. First, there is the economics of the issue. As stated above, women have been saving an incredible amount of money through the birth control mandate. Also, many women view the government’s narrowing of the birth control mandate as nothing more than another attempt by the government to control what a woman does with her own body. They also see this as the government having no regard for a women’s medical needs as birth control is not just used to stop an unwanted pregnancy. Birth control pills have also been used to assist with abnormal menstruation and as a form of hormone therapy that affects acne. In some more serious cases, it can reduce the symptoms of conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. It has even been used as a means of reducing the chances of developing reproductive cancers.

Conversely, people feel that it is unfair that birth control is completely free when most prescriptions require some form of copay under Obamacare. Then, there are those who want the mandate done away with because they see it as an attack on their religious liberties. Some feel that they are being forced against their will to provide something that is just another form of abortion, or that promotes promiscuity by removing pregnancy as an unwanted outcome.

The birth control mandate was one of the most controversial parts of Obamacare, and not just because it affects the health of half our population. Anytime the government gets involved in areas that are deemed personal or moral it begs the question of government overreach. Now that we’re presented with the opportunity to change the mandate that insurance companies provide birth control for free, should we?

The Issue

Should the government, through the birth control mandate portion of Obamacare, provide free birth control to women? Is the birth control mandate an attack on people’s religious and moral beliefs? Is the birth control mandate an essential healthcare benefit for women, and if it’s removed, is it an attack on a woman’s control of her own body?

In support of keeping the birth control mandate

In opposition to keeping the birth control mandate

With all of this in mind, do you think the government should change the birth control mandate?

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