Contraception Bill: Pros & Cons

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week, DFL legislators introduced a bill called the “Contraceptive Equity Act,” which would require Minnesota health plans to provide prescription drug coverage to cover contraception without charging a co-pay.

According to the DFL, women on average spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care costs than men, which is due in part to contraceptive costs.

They also say despite that, 99 percent of women use contraception at some point in their lives, and more than half of women, between the ages of 18-34, struggle to afford it.

One of the supporters of the legislation is Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Erin Murphy. Watch her full interview below on why she says this bill needs to be passed.

Rep. Erin Murphy

The bill would also exempt health plans that serve religious employers, although those plans would be required to offer contraceptive coverage directly to those employees.

Republicans are not in favor of this bill and say it restricts the options available to women, among other issues. Sen. Michelle Benson joined Esme Murphy on Sunday to discuss why she’s opposed to this legislation. Watch her interview below.

Sen. Michelle Benson

More from Esme Murphy
  • need more taxes

    I very much dislike liberals.

    • taxes suck

      I very much dislike Liberals as well. Why would there be a law like this? Really? That’s the most important thing to do at the moment?

  • esqbill

    Could Viagra be added to the no-copay formulary?

    • Marjorie

      Why should viagra be covered by insurace at all. It just promotes more use for contraceptives. I don’t see anyone suggesting that viagra not be covered by insurance. Bet there would be a real uproar (tsk) to that!

  • Brett

    How about making the PARTNER be the “co-payer” instead of contributing to the SKYROCKETING health care premium problem??

  • Michele

    What I’m hearing out of so much of the rhetoric, is that you shouldn’t have sex unless you can afford it, in spite of the fact that it is one of our most basic, human needs. Organized religion has tried to harness that most basic biological imperative for its own power, but regardless of how we try to divorce ourselves from our sexual natures, they will always surface. Heck, it’s how companies sell cars.

    Most of us (some here are questionable) would not say, you shouldn’t eat unless you can afford it. Or you shouldn’t sleep unless you can afford it. You shouldn’t clothe yourself unless you can afford it. These things are not luxuries. They are necessary to the health and well-being of the human being. So is sex.

    And just like starvation or exhaustion or hypothermia, as a taxpayer – and a human being – I would much prefer to pay for the prevention than its consequences.

    • Bernie

      So true I could go for a BLT and a BJ

    • Uncle Rico

      Go ahead and pay all you want, don’t ask other people to do it if they don’t want to though, how does this not make sense to the supporters. You act like we don’t want it, NO, we don’t want to pay for you to use it.


    If MN Government wants thaat in their contracts with the Megical Ins cos. that cover the MN Gov workers that’s one thing. BUT to dictate to these companys that they are to do this with ALL contracts is beyoun belief. Thats telling PRIVATE NONGOVERNMENT COMPANYS WHAT TO DO, AND THAT IS UN CONSTITUNAL.

  • No

    It comes down to being responsible for your actions. Have sex all you want. Use (or don’t use) whatever birth control you want. But you (and your partner) pay for the activity and the outcome. Don’t expect me to pick up the tab for your pleasure.

  • Enlightened

    So you’re saying the people who have too many children have jobs and DON’T receive welfare? No, people will purposely get pregnant to LIVE off the system and CONTRACEPTION doesn’t even enter into their minds.

  • finally...fairness

    We should get a lot more stuff free too. It’s not fair that some people have things I don’t have. I don’t care if I don’t make a lot of money, it’s just fair that I have what others have.

  • Brett

    You ignore the fact that many young mothers have kids so they CAN qualify for WELFARE, FOOD STAMPS, medicaid, housing assistance, tax deductions/credits, etc. So when they have their 3,4,5, or 6 kids, then don’t want anymore, THEN they want their “free” birf control, and don’t think that they should have to pay for THAT, either.

  • Phiiiiid

    If you want to avoid the “problem” of having families, why not make a decision not to have sex? This is a solution which costs NO MONEY! Liberals make it sound as if reproduction is a disease which needs to be prevented state involvement. This is simply not the case. It is the result of behavior which is easily avoidable, so long as people make wise decisions in life. Is this too much for us to ask for?

    • sue

      So, if you’re married and don’t want children we should just not have sex. Yes, what a GREAT PLAN. IF you’re going to use that logic then why do we cover hypertension or high cholesterol pills. Just stop eating bad food and exercise. Besides, oral contraceptives are used for many other things: acne, treatment of heavy periods, treatment of painful periods, depression, endometriosis etc.

      • Uncle Rico

        I agree with you in essence, but your two wrongs do not make a right here. It’s actually starting to look pretty desperate as the supporters of this are clearly grasping for straws and examples of why it’s a good idea beyond preventing pregnancy, take some Pamperin already. Additionally, the population control argument is becoming absurd. The “people” that a lot you “think” will magically stop having kids if they can get free BC (it’s free already for the poor), are simply not responsible enough to take the pill every single day, they’re not, and if you don’t know that you’re seriously misinformed.

        • Stanley Peterson

          No wonder, Minnesota is heading South!. They can not use reason with human life?. Too Bad your don’t take anything to a normal conclustion? You most likely will vote DFL or collect Welfare and if your lucky work for the state, or maybe end up working for Target? Do you like the Mark Dayton Viking Stadium proposal too? Good Luck!-

  • Ace

    Back in my younger days I took birth control pills for several years and paid for them myself. Now I take blood pressure pills and also pay for them myself. I am wondering why I have to pay and certain other people don’t. I am pro choice but don’t think that the government should have to pay for some college girl’s birth control pills when I have to pay for my blood pressure pills myself. People should take responsibility and quit looking to the government for everything. I am not a republican either, so there!

    • jackactionhero

      Are you suggesting all prescription drugs should be free?

  • Andy

    Politicians are stupid or corrupt or weak or have some agenda.

    Shrink government and give them less power. Then we will have fewer problems.

  • Dorothy

    I think Sue was spot on. Why should my health care dollars go to pay for your diseases caused by your actions. To those that smoked and have cancer, too bad. You eat and got fat with all the medical complications from it, too bad. But the chicken Republicans would never hold people responsible for their behavior. Except if they have sex.

  • Jason

    Birth control pills and condoms are the responsibility of those involved. They are both very affordable. Whats next, assistance on how to use?

  • HeyI"mOverHere

    I want to know why all of this falls on the woman….women have to be responsible for birth control, they have to raise the kids if they do get pregnant, often not getting child support from the father. Just because God gave women the apparatus to carry the baby during gestation, doesn’t excuse men from having some responsibility. We still need some kind of birth control for men so this doesn’t all fall on women.

    The republicans treat women like second class citizens, they don’t even ask women their opinion, treat them like they should just do as they’re told…..I will not vote Republican ever again after what’s going on this year. We carry the brunt of the housework, go to work 40 plus hours a week, take care of children, etc., etc., they don’t have the decency to even consider our feelings and think it’s ok to make decisions for us that affect our lives. Good old boys clubs still exist all over, ….?????

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