POSTED: Monday, November 1, 2010 - 10:21am
UPDATED: Monday, November 1, 2010 - 11:45am
WASHINGTON (AP) - Is birth control preventive medicine? A panel of experts advising the government will meet soon to consider what kind of preventive care for women should be covered at no cost to the patient under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
But U.S. Catholic bishops say pregnancy is a healthy condition, not an illness to be prevented. In comments filed with the Department of Health and Human Services, the bishops say they oppose any requirement to cover contraceptives or sterilization as preventive care.
So far, most other religious conservatives have stayed out of the debate, though some say they're concerned about any requirement that might include the morning-after pill. The Food and Drug Administration classifies it as birth control; some religious conservatives see it as an abortion drug.
Jeanne Monahan, a health policy expert at the Family Research Council, says her group would oppose any mandate that lacks a conscience exemption for moral and religious reasons.