The National Catholic Partnership on Disability Call to Action: Institute of Medicine Recommends Coverage of Sterilizations, Contraceptives, and Abortifacients
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reject the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendations;Clinical Preventive Services: Closing the Gaps. These recommendations effectively label pregnancy as a disease, which not only represents bad clinical medicine, but also will violate the consciences of persons who will be required to implement them. If these recommendations become law, all Americans will be forced to subsidize surgical sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients - all of which are covered under the recommended mandates. With these contraceptives and abortifacient medications and sterilizing procedures being deemed as mandated “preventive care services for women,” pregnancy prevention is thus categorized as “disease” prevention. Persons with disabilities are acutely aware of a eugenic social policy thrust that deems some pregnancies more desirable than others. The result is a move to encourage contraception by certain populations, deemed by social bias to either be less fit to be parents or less desirable contributors to society’s population.
The IOM’s recommendations apply to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform), and would impact all Americans. They are the culmination of a biased and flawed process conducted by the IOM. Not one of the invited presenters for the three public meetings, nor of the 16 member Committee on Preventive Services for Women are disability advocates, despite the fact that other populations reflective of diversity were represented among the presenters.
The report recommends that “the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods” be designated, and thus mandated, as a “preventive care service for women.” Such FDA-approved contraceptives include potential abortifacients such as so-called “emergency contraception” and IUDs. Furthermore, no co-pays are to be charged to beneficiaries. Thus, every insured, insurer, employer, and policy implementer included under the Health Care Reform mandates would be coerced into cooperating through insurance premiums, tax dollars, or through actualizing policy mandates in these state-driven and ideologically based violations of a true understanding of human reproduction.
Pregnancy is not a disease to be prevented, nor is the embryo an enemy who once conceived has no rights to access to the nurturing womb of his or her mother. Designating contraceptives and abortifacients as “preventive care services” does not constitute good clinical medicine. It is imperative that the Secretary of Health and Human Services reject these recommendations. This new threat to conscience makes it especially critical for Congress to pass the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” (HR 1179)
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability calls upon all persons of conscience and reason to engage in these public policy debates to prevent further erosion of conscience protections, and continued distortions of the scientific, anthropological, and sociological understanding of the natural gift of human reproduction.