From my Q&A with Jeanne Monahan earlier this week:
LOPEZ: What would you say to your fellow single women of America, concerned about their access to birth control?
MONAHAN: Those in favor of the mandate are largely framing the issue as access to contraception for women in the United States. However, this is not a fair claim, given that the U.S. government, in fiscal year 2011, funded domestic family-planning programs in the largest amount ever: almost $2 billion. The Guttmacher Institute reports that nine out of ten health-insurance plans currently cover contraceptives. In the few cases where women want contraception but do not have it covered by an insurance plan, they are free to purchase it on their own (in D.C., the generic brand of the pill costs $9 a month) or to visit one of the many Title X government-funded family-planning clinics to receive government-subsidized or, frequently, free contraception. (Within five miles of my office are two such clinics). Women are also welcome to attend school at or work for a non-religious organization. The options are many and varied for women in this scenario. However, for a woman who has a religious objection to the mandate, no such choice is afforded. As a woman who opposes this mandate, I will be forced to pay into an insurance program that will cover drugs and devices that I am morally opposed to.