published Monday, August 15th, 2011

Law could help curb unwanted pregnancies in Chattanooga


by Chris Carroll

New federal laws requiring birth control in health insurance plans has at least one doctor excited about curbing an already decreasing trend of unwanted pregnancies around Chattanooga.

"It's absolutely an excellent policy," said Dr. Susanna Carter, a physician at University Health Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chattanooga. "As a female patient advocate and caregiver, I'm very pleased with it."

The stipulation is included within a wide new swath of coverage for women's preventive care. President Barack Obama announced earlier this month that health insurance plans must cover federally approved birth control without copays and other fees. Some sterilization procedures also must be covered.

The requirements, partly delineated by the Food and Drug Administration, take effect on New Year's Day in 2013.

According to news reports, the Obama administration followed the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences. The academy said nearly half of all pregnancies in America were unintended, and about 40 percent of those ended in abortions.

It's unclear how the new requirements will affect teenagers across the nation. In some states, parents must be notified if girls below 18 visit a doctor for birth control. Tennessee and Georgia allow minors to obtain birth control without parental permission.

Carter, the local physician, outlined her philosophy: She prescribes birth control without hesitation if the teen is healthy and wants it, even if a parent isn't present.

"I don't know if that's ever happened -- usually the mother is with her," she said. "There still needs to be more done to reach out to teenagers, but that opens a political can of worms in the South."

On its own, Hamilton County has seen a steep drop in teen birth rates, particularly among black girls in their middle teenage years. Pregnancy rates have fallen by nearly half since 2008, state records show.

Among all girls ages 15 to 19, Tennessee's birth rate has fallen by a quarter since 1991 and Georgia's has dropped 32 percent, newspaper archives show.

Still, the South lags behind the nation. Tennessee and Georgia ranked among the 15 highest teen birthrates in America in 2008, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conceding to social conservatives, the new provision includes an exception for religious institutions to choose against offering birth control coverage.

"It's a step in the right direction, but it's not enough," Jeanne Monahan, policy expert for the Family Research Council, told The Associated Press.

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This won't affect unwanted pregnancy much if at all. Birth control has been available for free forever and "unwanted" pregnancies are still occuring.

August 15, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.
rolando said...

Let's make the issuance and use of birth control pills free and mandatory for all girls from ages 10 to 60 years, swallowing them to be monitored. It will begin with demonstrated instruction on putting a condom on a cucumber...which is already being done.

This isn't Margaret Sanger's vision, exactly, since it would apply to all girls born, now living, and immigrating into the US, legally or not. Sanger's vision was to eliminate all members of her interpretation of "inferior" races -- kinda sorta like Hitler's vision in that regard.

Further, if male sterilization could be made temporary -- like birth control pills -- the same would apply to them except the ages would be from 12 years to death.

Federal permission must be obtained to stop the pills or end the male procedure, of course. The people must, after all, be controlled in all aspects.

All members of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches and their staff will be exempt, as will all members of the ruling class and their families.

Welcome to 1984.

August 15, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
mymy said...

"The stipulation is included within a wide new swath of coverage for women's preventive care. President Barack Obama announced earlier this month that health insurance plans must cover federally approved birth control without copays and other fees. Some sterilization procedures also must be covered."

Insurance premiums will continue to go up for everybody else. Do you think the insurance companies are just going to absorb this cost? Think Again!

August 15, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
chioK_V said...

FlyingPurple, I was about to say the same thing. The intentions of the law are good and useful, but only if the individuals aren't trying to become pregnant on purpose. As it is in many cases where girls are trying to hold onto a deteriorating relationship.

Women, especially young women, have to want something more in life. They have to know there's more for them to accomplish without the extra baggage and responsibility of raising a child. They have to know that person they think they're so madly in love with today,and can't live without, they'll later wonder what they ever saw in that person to begin with.

I'm not placing the blame on totally on the women, but women are the ones who have to carry the child for nine months, and find themselves raising a child alone or with the help of their parents and siblings. Having spoken with many of these young women during different periods over the years I learned that many of them were becoming pregnant on purpose, and the guys had no idea they were being set up in many cases. Some naively became pregnant because their friends became pregnant. For a while, becoming pregnant was actually some kind of a fad for some girls. Others became pregnant on purpose believing it would keep an already rocky relationship from falling further apart. Getting pregnant on purpose won't rescue a relationship. If anything it was cause a relationship to collapse sooner.

There are so many reason for unwanted pregnancies. Just handing out birth control pills to anyone who wants them are the least of the solutions.

August 15, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.
EaTn said...

Has anyone stopped and thought about comparing the insurance companies cost of birth control pills to their cost of a birth of a child and health care costs to maybe age 25? I doubt you will see your premiums increase over this no brainier.

August 15, 2011 at 12:26 p.m.
mymy said...

EaTn: just the same old excuse for a society with no moral character these days etc,. I don't buy it and premiums will increase! Obamacare will have everybody on it if not repealed. Boy, just can't wait! It will be cheaper for a company to pay a fine that have health care benefits for employees.

August 15, 2011 at 1:01 p.m.
EaTn said...

mymy: what's that got to do with moral character? Also, do the math on pills versus raising a kid. And for companies fine for not providing employee health insurance, the low fine was put in at the insistence of the GOP who also signed off on the law.

August 15, 2011 at 1:25 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

Any birth control only works when the individual is not trying to get pregnant on purpose, or isn't too lazy to take birth control to prevent a pregnancy.

Society continue to label these as unplanned pregnancies. In reality, most pregnancies are planned. What is needed is a change in mindset and behavior. Having sex doesn't make you sexy. Having babies don't make a parent. Much maturity, higher levels of education and wisdom are required, and even then things can still fall apart. But, at least, one can have all three to fall back on. However, when one continues to place the cart before the horse, the uphill struggle will always be a losing battle.

August 15, 2011 at 8:02 p.m.
rolando said...

I highly recommend viewing the movie, V For Vendetta. It alludes to a future England but a future US is certainly mentioned during the opening diatribe.

We and England have always had things in common; this scenario is one of them. So is that presented in The Veteran.

Ammo up.

August 15, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
Humphrey said...

I hope that insurance will cover psychotropic medications as well.

August 15, 2011 at 10:10 p.m.
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