To The Editor:
The Trump administration has drafted a sweeping revision of the government’s contraception coverage mandate that will deny birth control benefits to hundreds of thousands of women who now receive them at no cost under the Affordable Care Act (NY Times, 6/2/2017).
This is quite frankly to satisfy the ideology and religious beliefs of priests, nuns, charitable religious hospitals, colleges and universities. The Little Sisters of the Poor led this movement years ago under the Obama administration when the ACA was first mandating coverage to all women. This reeks as a double standard. These religious groups will deny health coverage for contraceptives for women yet accept health care coverage for men when it comes to erectile dysfunction prescriptions, such as Viagra and Cialis. Why has no one challenged this? Erectile dysfunction drugs are taken for one purpose – to enhance and enable sexual performance.
The double standard is evident in advertisements on TV. Erectile dysfunction drugs are abundant on TV as seen in the Cialis ads with the two bathtubs and lovers holding hands and kissing. But one never sees an ad for contraception pills, IUDs or the “morning after pills.” The pharmaceutical industry spends up to $20 billion per year on advertising, both in print and media. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that spend money on advertisements for prescription medications. Needless to say, this expense adds to the cost of our medications.
I was employed by a pharmaceutical company that produced fertility drugs and contraceptives. At one point they did a commercial for TV on an implant for contraception for a brief time. It was pulled.
If we are going to pick and choose what contraceptive will be permitted for our employees, as in the Hobby Lobby case 2015, or completely deny access which is now the proposal by the Republicans, can we not apply the equal limitation on erectile dysfunction drugs?
A double standard for sure. Cut the women off. But let the men have the playing field.