If you remove sexual hysteria from the equation, it’s the equivalent of the government requiring seatbelts in cars, even if that does technically mean all car purchasers are on the hook for covering this car feature whether they want it or not.
If you were thinking about buying some birth control pills or even getting an IUD inserted today, it might be the wise choice to wait until tomorrow, when the contraception mandate under the Affordable Care Act starts its big rollout. Starting tomorrow, any new insurance policies sold to individuals or employers must cover contraception without a co-pay as part of a larger package of mandatory co-pay-free women’s preventive care benefits. After tomorrow, insurance plans that have already been purchased will have to start offering no-co-pay contraception when they renew.
Let’s be clear about something. Sex happens whether or not women have access to contraception. This isn’t about whether folks will have more or less sex… this is about preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Of course, just as people who resisted mandatory seatbelts have benefited along with the rest of us from lower rates of traffic fatalities, they will also benefit from the reduced social and health care costs that stem from reducing unplanned pregnancies. Luckily, public health advocates have learned not to hold their breath waiting for a thank you.