Birth Control goes beyond controlling birth

While the ruling that certain types of corporations should not be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees has been framed from their end through a religious liberty lens. It may have consequences for women who use birth control for reasons other than pregnancy prevention.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Store had challenged the mandate on the grounds that it violates their religious freedom by requiring them to cover birth control that they find morally objectionable, such as emergency contraception and hormonal and other devices that they claim prevent an egg from sticking to the uterus. The scientific consensus suggests otherwise.

Though many Americans consider pregnancy prevention a compelling public health justification to cover the cost of such contraceptives, the results of the decision could also affect women who use birth control for other reasons.

For example, some 1.5 million women use birth control to help with medical issues such as ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and endometrial cancer.

Guttmacher also found that more than 58 percent of all birth control users cite medical issues in addition to pregnancy prevention, listing reasons such as reducing cramps or menstrual pain, preventing migraines, and other side effects. It is even used in treating acne.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, for example, affects 5 million American women. The disorder which entails things such as irregular menstrual cycles that can last for months, and may cause iron deficiency, anemia, and infertility. Some women found relief using contraceptive methods.

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