By: Mariah Grimes
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Obama’s Affordable Care Act is giving female college students access to virtually free birth control, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s President Cecile Richards published an online press release stating, “Covering birth control with no co-pays means college students will not have to choose between paying for tuition and books, or paying for basic health care like birth control.”
Obama’s new plan is designed to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Female college students are one of the main target groups for this new act.
Alina Salganicoff, director of women’s health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said research shows access to contraceptives really does reduce unwanted pregnancy and abortion rates.
Obama has pointed out the preventative services regulation mandates free contraception for female college students as one of the reasons “why we passed this law.”
“I don’t think a college student in Fairfax or Charlottesville should have to choose between text books or the preventive care that she needs. That’s why we passed this law. And I am proud of it. It was the right thing to do. And we are going to keep it,” said Obama at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
A University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Christina Pagnani said, “I went to the student clinic last month for my birth control, and the nurse just handed it to me and sent me on my way. I was confused but obviously happy that I didn’t have to pay. I think that once UTC students find out about the free birth control, every girl at UTC will be in the student clinic so that’s definitely something to think about. I think free birth control is a good and bad idea at the same time, but I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
The Affordable Care Act provides contraception not only for family planning, but also as a way to reduce ovarian and other cancer risks. The controversy about the new law remains, but for now, contraceptives will be available for women seeking it for no cost.