Story: What Does Access to Birth Control Really Mean for Women?
In the last week, there's been a lot of media attention on the Obama administration's decision to ensure that millions of women get access to insurance coverage of contraception.
What does this important decision actually mean for the women who stand to benefit?
The New York Times recently told the story of one woman who was denied access to the medicine she needed simply because her school opposed it:
One recent Georgetown law graduate, who asked not to be identified for reasons of medical privacy, said she had polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition for which her doctor prescribed birth control pills. She is gay and had no other reason to take the pills. Georgetown does not cover birth control for students, so she made sure her doctor noted the diagnosis on her prescription. Even so, coverage was denied several times. She finally gave up and paid out of pocket, more than $100 a month. After a few months she could no longer afford the pills. Within months she developed a large ovarian cyst that had to be removed surgically -- along with her ovary.
"If I want children, I'll need a fertility specialist because I have only one working ovary," she said.
Thanks to President Obama's decision, women like the one in the story will get access to basic, preventive health care.
And yet, anti-contraception activists and their allies in Washington are trying to take this coverage away.