Another Reason The HHS Mandate Won’t Work

Birth controlBy Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory Baylor

In my last blog post, I observed that the HHS mandate – which requires employers to pay for their employees’ contraception and abortifacients – would almost certainly not achieve its stated purpose of reducing the adverse health events associated with unintended pregnancy, given the apparent failure of similar state-level mandates to achieve this goal.  There is another reason why the Mandate is unlikely to succeed:  the cost of contraception does not explain the relatively high level of unintended pregnancy in the United States.

Strategic Pharma Solutions recently conducted what it characterizes as a “comprehensive landmark survey of American women’s attitudes toward and experience with contraception.”  The survey is entitled “Contraception in America:  Unmet Needs Survey.”  The executive summary of the survey results reaffirms that “[a]ccidental pregnancies remain common despite readily available contraception.”  Over 40% of the survey respondents were not trying to get pregnant but were also not currently using any method of birth control.  When asked why they were not using any method of birth control, only 2.3% of this group stated that birth control was too expensive.  This reason was dead last among the nine reasons offered by respondents.  Of the women who were using birth control, only 1.3% reported that they chose a particular method because of its affordability.  This reason was second-to-last among the 19 offered by survey respondents.

Given this data, it is difficult to accept the government’s assertion that its Mandate will advance its interest in reducing unintended pregnancies.  Accordingly, the Mandate will end up trampling the consciences of countless individuals and organizations without meaningfully advancing its state purpose.

Author: Alliance Defending Freedom