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Local political parties respond to birth control mandate

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind- The Trump Administration is backtracking on an Obama Administration mandate, by targeting birth control.

The Department of Health and Human Services added two rules that will allow employers to debate on their coverage of contraception. Those rules are in effect on Friday.

The chair of both the Democratic and Republican Party here in St. Joseph County it’s evident that both parties agree that conversations and debates should be held on health care, but the disagreement starts at what role health care plays in politics.

The Democratic Party says birth control is not a religious freedom issue; it’s actually solely about politics.

“What this mandate is doing is stripping that access from a huge segment of our society, or at least it’s attempting to,” says Jason Critchlow, Chair of the local Democratic Party. “We’re saying, well you don’t have to provide this type of healthcare to people and this is a basic fundamental healthcare to women. Hiding behind the guides of religious liberty, I mean what kind of slippery slope is that?”

Critchlow says we have to get past the idea that health care is a privilege because according to him it’s not.

He says it should be viewed as an affordable and accessible right. He thinks birth control is sparking conversation because most of the time healthcare is provided on an employer-based system.

But Lynn Fitzpatrick, chair of the local Republican Party says there is no such thing as free birth control; someone has to pay for it.

In the case of contraceptives Fitzpatrick believes religious freedom and the right to follow ones conscience takes priority.

“When the government interferes with healthcare and does not allow people to follow moral beliefs then that is government impeding first amendment,” Fitzpatrick says. “We except health insurance to cover everything. Birth control is widely available. Why is this is overriding issue, a responsible woman would take control of her birth control by herself privately.”

Fitzpatrick did want to make sure people understand the ability to obtain birth control isn’t removed; the debate is on who should or should not pay for it.

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