Omaha, Neb., Oct 15, 2010 / 04:06 am
Planned Parenthood and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) began a new joint effort this week to lobby the Department of Health and Human Services to make free contraception a part of new federal requirements for all hospitals. In response Dr. Thomas Hilgers, an expert in women's health and family planning methods, stated that the plan would not help women, nor promote public health as contraception advocates claim.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has already rejected efforts to mandate contraceptive coverage, saying it would violate the religious rights of Catholic hospitals and doctors. On October 14, Dr. Hilgers wrote to CNA from Omaha, Nebraska (where he directs treatment and research at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction) to explain the plan's inherent problems from a scientific and medical standpoint.
As part of her effort to convince the HHS to accept her proposal, Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards argued women would not have to “pay $50 for birth control pills anymore” if her idea became law.
But Dr. Hilgers said Richards' accounting ignores the real price women pay, when fertility is regarded as a sickness needing “preventive care.” He noted that prominent side effects of the pill include circulatory problems, breast cancer, cervical cancer and liver tumors, and warned there were “many others beyond this as well.”