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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that beginning next year, all insurance plans must provide a wider range of services to women, including coverage for all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraceptives. These include drugs that pro-life groups call "abortion-inducing drugs." The Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land called the decision "an abomination." However, since 29 states already require contraception coverage, many Americans already belong to insurance prescription plans that cover these medications.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed last year will expand the requirement to the entire country, requiring that all insurance policies provide preventative services. As in the states that already require coverage, preventative services would include all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. The Health and Human Services ruling would go further, however, since insurance companies would be required to provide contraception with no copayment.

The controversy over the ruling mostly revolves around two contraceptives approved by the FDA, ella (ulipristal acetate) and Plan B (levonorgestre). These drugs work by making it unlikely that an embryo will be able to attach to the wall of the uterus.

For pro-life groups, such medications are morally (if not medically) abortifacients, drugs that cause an abortion. They are not abortifacients legally, however. According to medical definitions:

— Pregnancy is a condition of the mother, beginning when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall.

— Contraception lowers the chances of pregnancy; it includes medication that blocks fertilization, but also drugs that prohibit a pregnancy after conception.

— Abortion is the termination ...

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Your Insurance May Already Cover 'Abortion-Inducing Drugs'
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