Does the federal government have a role in women's reproductive health? A change to health care law has many people fired up.
Childbirth and motherhood are amazing concepts. Control over your body and reproductive planning is also an amazing aspect of modern medicine, but is it something we should all pay to ensure everyone has?
In 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity commission ruled employeers should cover birth control just like other prescription medications.
In 2010, about half of all states had some kind of mandate that contraceptives be covered, but President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act made it so that going forward, every company had to have a no-cost birth control option.
Cue the controversy.
Religious groups were exempt, but some companies were quick to say, "Whoa, what about us?" One example was Hobby Lobby, famously operated by Christian ownership notorious for suing the federal government over this rule violating their religious belief in natural birth control only. The company won a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that gave the decor store chain an exemption from the mandate. Dozens of other similar lawsuits followed.
The Health and Human Services Department announced on Friday that more companies were allowed to apply for an exemption on religious or moral grounds.
The Center for Reproductive Rights responded with the following:
Access to birth control should never depend on your income, job, or employer's opinions.
Some people are pointing out the importance of birth control for victims of rape or domestic violence.
Supporters of the change do not want to be taxed to cover your birth control and they feel it forces them to go against their religion.
The American Civil Liberties Union and National Women's Law Center say they will be filing lawsuits because they feel this lets companies push their religious beliefs on people and that it is sexist.
For now, companies still have to provide the coverage until they get an approved exemption. Health and Human Services predicts this would only impact one percent of women, but it's too early to know for sure.