Contraception Debate Comes To Clayton

Allison Blood, KMOX

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – Protesters from several groups rallied in Clayton to tell Senator Roy Blunt they want free birth control, and they want it now.

About a hundred people gathered outside Blunt’s office in Clayton. They chanted, held signs and asked for people to honk for birth control and for women’s healthcare. Blunt recently filed an amendment in the Senate that would eliminate the requirement of insurance companies or employers to provide birth control with no copays.

PHOTOS: Contraception Protest

Protesters argued that this narrow’s the country’s religious freedoms, rather than expands them as supporters of this legislation argue.

Washington University Graduate student Allison Curry argued it was about an individual’s liberty to choose what medicines he or she wants to take. She said she would soon be looking for a job and wouldn’t want to narrow her search for fear that a medicine she’s prescribed won’t be covered.

St. Louis resident and freelance writer Pamela Merrit says she takes birth control pills for other health reasons that the pill helps regulate. She says those who are morally opposed to this bill need to listen to those who don’t use birth control for contraception.

Senator Blunt filed the amendment and expects a vote on it next week in the Senate. Currently, no churches or church-run institutions are required to provide contraception for free, but insurance companies are.

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  • Mallory Schwarz

    This report missed the point. The issue was not “We want free birth control,” but that your boss shouldn’t make your health-care decisions (such as whether or not to use birth control). We do not believe- as Roy Blunt and State Senator John Lamping claim- that the Obama Administration’s recent policy requiring insurance companies to cover birth control without a copay is a violation of the employer’s– a corporation’s– religious freedom or its “conscience.” Corporations do not have consciences. A religious exemption for churches already exists, and has since the Bush administration. Roy Blunt’s plan would not only repeal this birth control coverage policy but undo the entire new health care law. It would allow any employer to claim a moral prerogative to intrude on its employee’s privacy and take control of personal health-care decisions.

    Our message was simple: women, all women, deserve access to basic health care, including birth control, at a price they can afford.

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