Health News: Institute of Medicine recommends that women pay nothing for birth control.

12:32 PM, Jul 20, 2011   |    comments
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Women may soon pay nothing for their birth control.

That's the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine - a group that the government asked to look at the issue for the new health care law.

They made 8 recommendations total - things that should be covered at no cost- but the issue of birth control is the one that is sparking debate.

At time when some women are finding birth control too expensive for their budgets... this new recommendation could make it free.

Dr. Willie Parker an OBGYN with Planned Parenthood says: "We have people having to make those very hard choices between paying for things that they know that they definitely need and also not having the funds to cover other things they need access to contraception."

Dr. parker also says that can often lead to unplanned pregnancies... and women less likely to get pre-natal care.

Dr. Willie Parker: "We don't get a chance to detect the complications of pregnancy like premature birth."

So after being asked by the government to weigh in... the independent institute of medicine now recommends contraception be considered a preventive service ... with no co-pay under the new health care law

The law already requires free preventive services like blood pressure checks- but the i-o-m was asked to say what else women need.

Among their recommendations:

· screening for gestational diabetes, hpv and hiv, and counseling on std's.

But some who take issue with contraception- especially emergency contraception, like plan b, are against that part of the recommendation.

Jeanne Monahan with Family Research Council says: "There are different groups of people who have either ethic or moral objections to contraception. And so those groups of people shouldn't be mandated to pay, through their insurance premiums, for contraceptives for other people."

An issue the two sides are unlikely to agree on as the department of health and human services makes it's final decision.

Screening and counseling for domestic violence are also recommended as a required preventive service.

The department of health and human services is expected to make its decision soon.

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