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Denying Contraceptive Coverage Could Increase Abortions, Op-Ed States

Denying Contraceptive Coverage Could Increase Abortions, Op-Ed States

June 18, 2014 — "It's a difficult reality, but it needs to be stated: a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby could lead to more abortions," write Julia Stronks, a professor at Whitworth University, and Jeffrey Peipert, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine, in a Roll Call opinion piece.

Stronks and Peipert write that as an "evangelical Christian, political science professor and a Jewish, family-planning physician," respectively, they believe that "whatever the Court decision, faith-based businesses that value life should provide the full range of birth control options for their employees."

"Bottom line: Contraception doesn't cause abortions, it helps prevent them," they argue, adding that a ruling "allowing for-profit corporations to deny their employees contraceptive coverage would actually undermine increased access to the most effective ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and abortions."

They note that "[n]one of the contraceptive methods employers are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act [PL 111-148] cause abortion, including the specific types of contraception to which Hobby Lobby objects." They explain that those methods -- intrauterine devices and emergency contraception -- "work by preventing pregnancy (fertilization) from occurring in the first place."

"In fact, long-acting contraceptive methods, such as IUDs and implants, are the most effective forms of contraception for preventing unintended pregnancies," which is "key for those who identify as pro-life, because almost half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion," Stronks and Peipert write (Stronks/Peipert, Roll Call, 6/18).