US mandates free birth control services for women
(SPOT.ph) The Obama administration on August 2 announced that US health insurance companies must offer free birth control and other preventive health care services, reports Reuters. The new mandate follows the recommendations of the US Institute of Medicine to add approved birth control methods in the list of preventive health services.
Though some conservative groups oppose the idea, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the rule is "based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need." Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who pushed for the mandate, also said that it makes important preventive health care services more available to women.
According to the report, the new mandate faced opposition from conservative and religious groups who objected to using taxpayers' money to cover birth control expenses. In light of this, HHS is allowing religious institutions freedom to choose to cover contraception services in their insurance.
Click on the photo to watch the ABC report on the new mandate