After much contentious debate, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has finally announced today that it’s going to require all health insurance plans beginning on or after August 1st, 2012 to cover a wide range of women’s preventative health services including, but no limited to, birth control and sterilization. This is super good news for those who struggle to afford birth control, and is expected to save both the government and the insurance companies money by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Despite the fact that this will inevitably translate to fewer abortions, many opponents object to forcing God-fearing Christians to subsidize certain women’s immoral, non-baby-wanting lifestyles. To appease those who object on superstitious grounds, the Obama administration tacked on an amendment that exempts religious institutions from having to cover such things for their employees.
Another bit of good news is that a federal judge granted Planned Parenthood Kansas a temporary injunction blocking the law that would have de-funded it, saying that he does not expect its constitutionality to hold up in court.
Via The Washington Post:
In his ruling, [U.S. District Judge J. Thomas] Marten agreed with Planned Parenthood’s argument that the statute is unconstitutional because would impose additional restrictions on a federally-funded program, thereby violating the Supremacy Clause. He also agreed with the group’s contention that the law likely violates the First and Fourteenth amendments because he believes it was intended to punish the group for advocating for abortion rights.
These victories are by no means comprehensive, but amid all the scary things conservatives have done to restrict women’s access to both abortions and adequate healthcare this year, it’s nice to hear some positive news for a change. With any luck, we will soon kill all the babies.