The past few weeks have been filled with news about the way people are reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision about the Affordable Care Act. This doesn’t mean that the battle over birth control coverage has ended. In Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a law that would have been used to deny birth control coverage in health insurance.
There are two opposing viewpoints. Many people, including President Barrack Obama and his administration, recognize that birth control is part of women’s health care. This is why coverage for birth control has been placed into the category of preventative care. The purpose is to ensure that all women who want to use birth control will be able to afford to do so.
On the other side, there is the Catholic Church. This group does not recognize that birth control is part of women’s health care. They believe that requiring business owners to include coverage for birth control in an employer sponsored health plan is a violation of the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church. Several lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to impose Catholic beliefs into a federal law about health care.
You can narrow this argument down to its basic premises. One side feels that it is vitally important for women to be able to access the health care they want or need. The other side feels that it is vitally important to fight laws that do not match the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
In Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon, who is a Democrat, has vetoed a bill. If he signed the bill, it would have become a law. That law would have resulted in women being denied coverage for contraception.
Governor Nixon vetoed that bill. He noted that Missouri already has a state law that allows employers or workers to opt out of contraceptive coverage based on their moral or religious beliefs. The difference between that law, and the bill that Governor Nixon vetoed, is that the bill would have allowed insurance companies to choose to deny coverage for birth control, even in cases where both the employer and the worker wanted that coverage.
The Governor’s decision has brought controversy and comments from both sides of the issue, as expected. The bill was passed by the Missouri House of Representatives, and the Missouri Senate, both of which are currently Republican dominated. There is potential that the legislators could attempt to override the veto, but this will have to wait until they return to work in September.
Image by Bernard Pollack on Flickr