DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     July 23, 1998     vol. 9, no. 143

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - A US Senate Committee began hearings on Tuesday to consider legislation that would require health insurers to pay for contraceptives for women.

          The initial statements before the Senate Labor and Human Relations Committee reflected a backlash against men and insurance coverage of impotence drugs. "If men were the ones who need prescription contraceptives, I have no doubt they would have been covered years ago," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

          The bill's sponsor, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said about half of all health care plans do not routinely cover prescription contraceptives. "Some women will forgo the use of contraceptives because they simply can't pay for them, and the result will be an unintended pregnancy, leading to a potential lack of prenatal care or even abortion," she said.

          Opponents of the bill point out that impotence is a medical dysfunction while fertility is not a disease or dysfunction. All five methods of prescription contraception would be covered: the birth control pill, Depo-Provera, Norplant, the diaphragm, and intrauterine devices. The US House approved a similar measure affecting health insurance for federal employees last week.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

July 23, 1998       volume 9, no. 143


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