Yesterday, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly agreed with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and argued that it was fair for insurance companies to cover Viagra but not birth control because “birth control is not a medical condition”:
OK, listen up. Viagra is used to help a medical condition. That’s why it’s covered. Birth control is not a medical condition. It is a choice. Why should I or anybody else have to pay for other people’s choices? Do I have to buy you dinner before you use the birth control?
Although O’Reilly may not know it, preventing unwanted pregnancies is not just another “choice.” It is “central to good health care for women.” According to NARAL, 98 percent of women “use some form of birth control during their reproductive years” to “control the timing and spacing of their pregnancies, which in turn reduces the incidence of maternal death, low birth weight babies, and infant mortality.”
Failure to cover birth control also places women at an unfair disadvantage “by singling out for unfavorable treatment a health insurance need that only they have.” According to the National Women’s Law Center:
Failure to cover contraception forces women to bear higher health care costs to avoid pregnancy, and exposes women to the unique physical, economic, and emotional consequences that can result from unintended pregnancy.
With opinions like these, O’Reilly won’t have to worry about buying anyone dinner.