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June 23, 2004

Religious Right Loses

Sometimes in all the heat and rhetoric-- and occasional dire worries-- it's nice to be reminded that on some fundamental social concerns, the religious right is losing.

Take birth control pills. Many on the religious right have fought long and hard to fight their inclusion in employer health plans. But they've largely failed, as a new study details:

The number of group employee insurance plans that cover birth control pills and other contraceptives increased dramatically over the past decade, spurred by federal and state requirements, lawsuits demanding coverage and, apparently, Viagra.

In a comprehensive study to be released Tuesday, the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 86 percent of employer-provided health plans covered a full range of contraceptive choices in 2002, compared with 28 percent in a parallel 1993 study.

Oddly, the advent of Viagra played a strong role in this rise, since employers wanted to include it in plans, and were pressured to include contraception as well. Hmm-- a wonder which gender was making the initial coverage decisions on Viagra :)

Posted by Nathan at June 23, 2004 05:24 AM