# Contraception



Contraception is also health care

Shawna Anderson: Birth control pills may have saved my life and also helped me to conceive.

When the U.S. House approved a bill in July to protect Americans’ access to birth control, 195 Republicans voted no. Those House members, including Iowa’s Representatives Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Randy Feenstra, opposed codifying not only my right to access family planning, but also my health care.

As a 43-year-old married mother of two and grandmother, I never thought I would see the day that I needed to defend access to any reproductive care, but here we are. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned what I grew up hearing was the law of the land, Democrats are trying to ensure that people like me will have access to the health care we need.

A friend once told me we should call birth control hormone therapy, because that’s really what it is. Not only does it aid in family planning, but it can treat some medical issues. Let me tell you how birth control/hormone therapy may have saved my life and helped me to conceive.

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Joni Ernst leads Senate opposition to contraception rights bill

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has blocked a Democratic bill that would provide a federal guarantee of contraception rights.

Democrats sought to pass the bill, which cleared the U.S. House mostly along party lines, via unanimous consent during Senate floor debate on July 27.

Ernst rose to object and advocated for a measure that would speed up an over-the-counter designation for oral contraception pills. The bill is a companion to a bill that U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson introduced in the House last week. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Senator Chuck Grassley are co-sponsoring the measure.

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Iowa media help Hinson, Miller-Meeks hide the ball on birth control access

All three U.S. House Republicans from Iowa voted this week against a bill that would provide a federal guarantee of access to contraception.

But if Iowans encounter any mainstream news coverage of the issue, they may come away with the mistaken impression that GOP Representatives Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks took a stand for contraception access.

The episode illustrates an ongoing problem in the Iowa media landscape: members of Congress have great influence over how their work is covered.

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Teen births drop nationwide and in Iowa

The U.S. teen birth rate reached "a historic low in 2010," according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control this week. Iowa was among 47 states where the birth rate for teenagers fell significantly from 2007 to 2010, and Iowa's rate of 28.6 births per 1,000 teenagers was ranked 34th nationwide. More details are after the jump.

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Grassley, Harkin split as Senate tables repeal of birth-control mandate

The U.S. Senate voted today to table Republican Senator Roy Blunt's amendment to repeal a federal regulation on birth-control coverage in employer-provided health care insurance. Iowa's senators split on party lines.

UPDATE: Added a statement from Tom Harkin below. He argues that the Blunt amendment goes way beyond coverage of contraception and other preventive health services.

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