To The Editor:
President Obama is a good listener. He has demonstrated this especially with his recent actions to first, make contraception available to women free of charge, and second, to reach compromise with respect to the reaction of the Catholic church.The birth control benefit underscores the fact that birth control is basic health care, and is fundamental to improving women’s health and the health of their families, especially those struggling in this economy.
The President’s recent adjustment in contraception availability to support the view of the Catholic bishops to not require Catholic institutions to provide women with free contraception, but rather, have insurance companies provide it directly should put the issue to rest. Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association said the compromise responded to the issues raised. However, despite the President’s compromise, there continue to be significant and immediate threats to women’s health care and their access to birth control from people who are not listening.
As a woman who was raised Catholic, my hope is for the Obama administration to continue to affirm its commitment to ensuring all women have access to birth control coverage without copays and deductibles. These critical benefits put a woman in charge of her own reproductive health despite interference from patriarchal systems in the Church, the Senate and Congress in Washington, DC and in our own Senate and Assembly here in New Jersey.
No man, woman or institution should interfere with an individual’s personal birth control decision based on religious or other values. The coverage has a health benefit, a family planning benefit and is a business friendly benefit, for birth control benefits are far less costly than the alternatives and consequences of restricted access to contraception.