US and New Zealand: The struggle for access to abortions and contraception continues

Vita Bryant, Workers Party, Wellington

In the heat of the campaigning for the Republican Primaries, Sandra Fluke, a law student at Georgetown, a well-respected Catholic university in Washington DC, applied to make a submission to the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee had convened to discuss whether or not to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which would allow employers to opt out of providing insurance coverage for contraception on religious grounds – in other words, regardless of an employee’s religious belief, their employer can mandate whether or not their insurance will cover access to contraception. In a country where the costs of medicines are largely covered by private insurance arrangements, such an amendment could leave the contraceptive choices of hundreds of thousands of women in the United States to the whims of their employers. [Read more...]

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