From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keli-goff/reproductive-rights_b_909320.html
By Keli Goff Author, commentator and contributing editor, TheLoop21.com
Recently my mother told me something shocking. When she decided that her family was complete and sought a tubal ligation from her doctor (aka "to have her tubes tied"), she was told that her husband would have to sign a form giving his consent. This was not during the dark ages, but the dawn of the 1980s. And this was not some third world country practicing sharia law, but Texas. (Yes, I can already hear some of the 3rd world jokes many of you are making about my home state right about now. To which I say, "Hook 'em Horns.")
Her story was a stark reminder that it really wasn't that long ago that our country was stuck in the dark ages when it comes to women having the right to control our own bodies. It was also a powerful reminder that while abortion remains the most divisive reproductive rights issue -- and the one likely to garner the most headlines -- it is not necessarily the most important. There are countless reproductive rights issues that affect all women -- including those who may not consider themselves pro-choice. These are the issues I consider most at stake with the ongoing assault on Planned Parenthood. And it is through these issues that President Obama may end up leaving his greatest legacy.
Last week a nonpartisan panel convened by the Institute of Medicine recommended that insurance companies be required to cover birth control for free as a form of preventive care under the new health care law. If the government follows the panel's recommendations, this could end up being not just one of the most important moments in the reproductive rights movement since Roe v. Wade, but the most important moment ever. (Click here to see some of the most important reproductive rights cases besides Roe v. Wade.)
A poll released during the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill found that cost remains a key barrier for couples when it comes to using contraception. As I have noted in a previous column, "though it seems like it would be a no brainer for insurers to cover birth control rather than face the prospect of eventually covering another dependent, a 2007 Mercer study found that while about 70 percent of insurers provide coverage for erectile dysfunction medications, (as in Viagra) HALF of all health insurance plans do not provide contraceptive coverage."
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