People are finding the good, the bad and the ugly in President Barack Obama’s birth control policy.
The policy is part of his Affordable Care Act.
It requires women’s health insurance plans to provide a wide range of preventive care for free.
The services include well-woman visits, domestic violence screening and sexually transmitted disease counseling and screening, among others.
Contraception is included in the plan as well, and women will not be responsible for a co-pay or a deductible.
Despite controversy, psychology sophomore Emerie Loomis said she is optimistic about the plan.
“Keeping religion and state separate, I think it’s a good idea,” Loomis said.
Religious public institutions regard the plan as unfair, saying that the policy forces them to compromise their religious beliefs to comply.
To counteract these objections, a plan has been proposed by Obama to have coverage for contraceptives available through health insurance companies without direct cost to the employer.
Many of these employers don’t believe the policy should have the power to make them provide birth control under any circumstance.
Joyce White, certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Covenant MedExpress Clinic, said she agreed.
She said all employers provide different services, and birth control may or may not be one of them.
Regardless, White said, employees should respect their employer’s decisions.
“If they don’t provide it, they don’t provide it,” White said. “It should not be mandated.”
White added that MedExpress will not be affected by the mandate.
Aside from religious issues, White said she supports the plan’s effort of making contraceptives readily available for those who want them.
White said girls as young as 14 should be able to use the pill, if necessary.
“You need to take the road that promotes health wellness,” she said, adding that she believed prevention needs to be the focus, no matter what age the woman is.
She said birth control is worth the financial cost if it prevents teens and young adults from getting pregnant before they are financially and emotionally ready for a child.
Sara Martinez, health and wellness educator and Peer Health Education adviser, said the plan hits home for college students, as the college years are one of the most sexually active times in a woman’s life.
“If they are going to be sexually active, this is one way they can protect themselves,” she said in support of the policy.
Contraceptives have alternative uses, which is another reason why Martinez sees the plan as an effective one.
Alternative uses include clearing up acne and regulating menstrual cycles.
Even with the policy in place, birth control is not handed out freely.
A physical exam and a screening for sexually transmitted infections must be completed prior to receiving a prescription.
Martinez said these requirements could get problems such as sexually transmitted infections identified and treated quickly, which may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Although women still need to go through the screening and exam, some think the plan will deteriorate the relationship between patient and doctor and a woman’s employer will get the final say.
White does not believe a woman’s boss should have anything to do with her health issues.
“I don’t want my employer telling me how to manage my health care,” White said.
Chantel Skinner, business management freshman, said a woman should be able to make a decision like this on her own without approval.
“Doctors have a lot of control over other medicines, but birth control’s a really personal thing,” Skinner said.
Although Martinez believes doctors to be a crucial part of a woman’s health, she said this plan is allowing women to take their sexual health into their own hands.