U.S. Panel: Cover Birth Control For Free

The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommended providing women free birth control and other preventive health services under the country's healthcare overhaul.

The IOM report, commissioned by the Obama administration, recommended that all U.S.-approved birth control methods -- including the "morning after pill," taken shortly after intercourse to forestall pregnancy -- be added to the federal government's list of preventive health services.

"The evidence supporting contraception is quite straightforward. It works," said Dr. Alfred Berg, a member of IOM's Committee on Preventive Services for Women.

The IOM noted that women with unplanned pregnancies were more likely to put off or neglect prenatal care and to smoke, drink or experience depression.

The recommendation to add birth control is a big gain for organizations like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Planned Parenthood, but is likely to stoke opposition from conservative and religious groups.

"I'm really taken and pleased with the concept of making contraceptive methods available to women in general," said Dr. James Martin Jr., ACOG's president. "It's just a shame that so many pregnancies in this country are unplanned and unwanted."

Other services recommended by IOM include screening for gestational diabetes, testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) in women over 30, counseling for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, lactation counseling, screening for domestic violence and yearly wellness visits.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the final say over what services will be offered. Department of Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the IOM report "historic."

The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide health-policy advice.


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  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 20, 2011 at 03:03 PM
    Scott: Depo Provera is a lousy form. It's usually men that think that injection is a good idea, because they never experience what it's like having that kind of a massive whollop of those hormones in their system. While on it, if you are late on an injection and become pregant there is a high risk of ectopic pregnancy, which is considered a life threatening emergency. It causes major depression, loss of bone density, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and in some patients even seizures. The risks with it are elevated, and it can make you really sick. It's not a good choice for a significant number of women. If you're wondering whether the BCP does the same thing, the answer is sometimes, on some of those symptoms, but to a much lesser degree and in far fewer cases. There's a reason Pfizer had to face a $700million lawsuit over that drug. The ONLY benefit for it is for women with Endometriosis where they need to reduce the number of cycles per year BUT... Seasonale pill will do just as well for that with less damage to the body otherwise.
  • by Scott on Jul 20, 2011 at 09:57 AM
    They have shots that are administered every 3 months. You can't expect people to be responsible enough to take a pill. I'm a republican and would be glad to see the people who can't afford kids stop having them. If this is how, more power to them. It should be a requisite of getting welfare. Instead of rewarding people who keep popping out kids with more benefits, they should just give them the same amount and let them spread what they get thinner. I bet the decide to stop having kids then. There's no incentive for them not to keep having kids. Just rewards in their eyes.
    • reply
      by clint on Jul 20, 2011 at 07:12 PM in reply to Scott
      Why would you speak ill of Obamas brides?
  • by Back Location: Gvlle on Jul 20, 2011 at 09:48 AM
    This plan, along with mandatory sterilization(for those in the group mentioned by anonymous, male & female))is a good start in helping this country get back on the right track and will definately make the future better.
  • by J.D. Location: ENC on Jul 20, 2011 at 09:43 AM
    This would be a great idea. The only problem is making sure it is used. The folks that need it the most will be the one's that will use it the least. There is no check in the mail with out kids on your coat tail. I think one you get on welfare you should have to have the birth control implant. And for the guys if you are named the father of multiple children then you get clipped to.
    • reply
      by Theresa on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM in reply to J.D.
      J.D. I'm with you 100%. Someone, somewhere needs to stop the cycle of living off the backs of the taxpayers. But who will when our government pays the irresponsible to suck the life out of the responsible? Government control is what the government wants and they are making us pay for it. STOP THE MADNESS !!! Enough is enough.
  • by Barlow Location: Madison on Jul 20, 2011 at 03:21 AM
    The Repugnants will never go for this. It makes too much sense. They will say it is up to God or some such dribble. Yet, if an unwanted child is born they don't want to help it. What makes more sense? Pay for a few pills a month, or pay the cost of birthing and raising a child. Seems like any easy choice.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 20, 2011 at 04:12 AM in reply to Barlow
      I think it's a good idea too ! The only problem is that there are many groups this day and time that are being taught from a young age to reproduce as much as possible. They are taught to not work, reproduce, and apply for all services they can get (Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc). This holds true for all races and nationalities too...not just a few.
      • reply
        by Theresa on Jul 20, 2011 at 05:47 AM in reply to
        So so true. A what a disgrace it is! This is a large part of why the US is in such dire trouble.
    • reply
      by Theresa on Jul 20, 2011 at 06:00 AM in reply to Barlow
      I am a proud republican and I think this is a great idea. Now all we have to do is figure out how to make them actually USE them. Good job for you, Barlow. We can set up a center and everyone on assistance or who can not afford birth control can come there for you to hand out and personally ensure they take it. Why pills? Condoms prevent pregnacy AND STDs. Last I heard you can get them free at the health department already.
    • reply
      by Audra on Jul 20, 2011 at 06:26 AM in reply to Barlow
      Also a republican, and I think it's a good idea. You're way off base, Barlow. By the way... the word is drivel, not dribble. You may not own a dictionary but you clearly have internet access. FYI... dictionary.com is your friend.
      • reply
        by Barlow on Jul 20, 2011 at 06:40 AM in reply to Audra
        Thanks for the new word! I like it better than mine although I think dribble works well too. drib·ble (drbl) v. drib·bled, drib·bling, drib·bles v.intr. 2. To let saliva drip from the mouth; drool I agree that not ALL of the "word" as you call it is dribble/drivel but what comes out of Repugs mouths when claiming to follow it certainly is.
        • reply
          by So Sad on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM in reply to Barlow
          Barlow, you make such ignorant remarks and then expect to be taken seriously, so very sad!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 20, 2011 at 07:11 AM in reply to Barlow
      How about they just start being responsible for their own actions? Being responsible doesnt cost anything.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 20, 2011 at 02:48 PM in reply to
        Birth control IS responsible
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 20, 2011 at 08:38 AM in reply to Barlow
      Hey Barlow, why so quiet? Still chewing on the foot you put in your mouth?
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