The news are these:
Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.The recommendations may not be adopted, true. Still, the emphasis on preventive services and the coverage of contraceptives is to be applauded. I hope they are also covered for men, naturally, especially after the male pill becomes available.
Women’s health advocates pronounced themselves delighted that the Institute of Medicine committee had chosen to recommend not only the widest possible range of contraceptive services but also an expansive spectrum of other preventive services.
These include screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women; more sophisticated testing for a virus, known as HPV, that is associated with cervical cancer; annual counseling for sexually active women on sexually transmitted infections; and multiple visits to obtain preventive services if they cannot be provided in one annual exam.
As one expert in the linked article notes, unplanned pregnancies are a huge problem in this country. They are also the pregnancies most likely to result in abortions.
This makes the resistance of the socially conservative Family Council illogical:
Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the socially conservative Family Research Council, said that many Americans may object to birth control on religious grounds. “They should not be forced to have to pay into insurance plans that violate their consciences. Their conscience rights should be protected,” she said.Well, perhaps not illogical if their final goal is to make sure that women have no rights to prevent births: No contraception, no abortion!
Such interesting consciences some people have.