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July 20, 2011

Feminist bloggers the world wide web over are writing about birth control today. The Institute of Medicine has just officially recommended that birth control be covered by insurance companies as preventive care, with no co-pay. This is great news for so many reasons. Here are just a few.

1.     Birth control represents one of the most fundamental ways a woman can really own her own body, that she can be sure no one other than she decides whether she has to carry a baby. States are doing more and more to control women’s medical decisions once they are pregnant; in this climate, birth control, as part of maintaining individual medical authority over our own bodies, is more important than ever.

2.     Birth control enables women who want to get pregnant to plan for it and to be prepared.

3.     This level of autonomy and responsibility is just as important for women who can’t afford birth control as it is for women who can.  It’s not just middle- and upper-class women who have the right to make their own decisions about pregnancy and childbearing. Everyone should have the option of making responsible choices.

4.     Covering birth control as preventive care would the save the system money. Unintended pregnancies cost WAY more than birth control.

5.   And (drumroll please) providing more women with more consistent access to affordable birth control would reduce abortions.

So basically, it’s a win win. Win win win.

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