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In Birth-Control Insurance Fight, Planned Parenthood is Anti-Choice

Cecile RichardsPlanned Parenthood claims to uphold freedom of choice for women in planning their families and their broader lives. Yet the organization seeks to force people to buy birth-control insurance coverage against their will (whether they use birth control or not). Thus, Planned Parenthood is anti-choice when it comes to people’s economic decisions—a position that ultimately threatens the right to get an abortion as well.

As the Christian publication LifeNews.com reports, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, supports President Obama’s mandate to force insurance companies to provide—and their clients to purchase—plans that cover birth control. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains tweeted, “Health insurance should cover birth control because millions of women need it.”

The birth-control mandate violates the freedom of choice of women, men, and insurance providers. While many claim the mandate provides “free” birth control, that is a ridiculous lie; the cost is merely rolled into insurance premiums. Thus, the mandate is a massive wealth-transfer scheme that forces those who do not wish to buy birth control to pay for the birth control of others.

For example, my wife and I have not used birth control for many months because we’re actively trying to have a baby; forcing us to finance the birth control of others through our insurance premiums is a violation of our rights. In addition, gay couples, couples with medical issues causing infertility, and women beyond the age of fertility usually have no need for birth control, and they should not be forced to buy it for others. (If the government forcibly prevents insurance companies from raising premiums to cover the new costs, that will merely result in cost-cutting elsewhere; in either case, the cost is borne by those insurance clients who do not use birth control.)

Just as women and their doctors have the right to contract freely for medical services, so women and their insurance providers have the right to freedom of contract. The mandate violates the rights of insurance providers no less than it violates the rights of their clients.

By taking a hardline anti-choice position with respect to people’s economic liberties, Planned Parenthood threatens the legality of abortion. As I have pointed out, the Texas law mandating needless sonograms and requiring women to wait 24 hours to get an abortion depends precisely on violating freedom of contract. Because Planned Parenthood wishes to violate freedom of contract when it comes to buying insurance, the organization should not be surprised when their opponents violate freedom of contract when it comes to seeking an abortion.

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Image: David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons

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Ari Armstrong

Ari Armstrong is an assistant editor of The Objective Standard. He blogs at AriArmstrong.com, and he has written for publications including the Denver Post and Complete Colorado. He is the author of Values of Harry Potter: Lessons for Muggles, a book exploring the heroic fight for life-promoting values in the Potter novels.


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