It’s Time To Stop Segregating Reproductive Rights

Now is the time to repeal a 40-year-old law that perpetuates inequality among women. The Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except in certain circumstances, is unfair. The amendment targets women who rely on Medicaid for their health care coverage. According to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, roughly two out of three adult women enrolled in Medicaid are between the ages of 19 and 44—the reproductive years. Abortions can run upward of $1,000, which places the (legal) procedure out of reach for most women living in poverty.

Hobby Lobby: On The Brink Of A Women’s Rights Abyss

In a decision mostly divided along ideological and gender lines, the Supreme Court voted last week in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to release certain companies from providing insurance coverage for contraceptives to their female employees. Simply put, at 5-4, the Supremes crawled into the LadyBusiness of America and voted to allow closely-held companies to opt out of paying for contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The IRS defines “closely-held” as any company that is not a personal service organization, and has five or fewer owners who possess more than half of the stock. A 2009 New York University Stern School of Business study says that’s little more than half of private sector companies that employ around 60 million people. Though press coverage would have you think otherwise, this is not a narrowly-defined decision.

Each Baby: Wanted, Loved And Planned

We’re doing something wrong, but it’s fixable now. For years, researchers have said that among industrialized countries, the U.S. has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies, at 49 percent. Such pregnancies are even higher among poor, low-income, and less-educated women. Intended pregnancies tend to signal a family’s readiness for the huge transition brought by the addition of a new member. Intended pregnancies tend to be healthier, and require less public funds outlay.