Letter: Covering contraception
At my first job out of college (in the ‘70s), a coworker once remarked that he didn’t know why companies hire women. “They just get pregnant and leave anyway.”
Remember, only a generation ago we fought to be recognized as able, intelligent people who could make good decisions at work and in our own lives. Family planning and control of our reproductive rights allowed us to compete on a more level playing field.
Last week the Trump administration issued regulations allowing companies to create barriers to employees in determining their own health, sexuality and family planning. He gave employers the ability to impose a corporate vision of “morality” on their workers. Companies with moral or religious objections to birth control can exclude contraception coverage from their health plans.
In a public company, who decides this morality? The CEO? The board of directors? Is it by shareholder vote? Can a corporate takeover redefine the company’s “religion?”
And why do these rights extend only to women’s reproduction? There are religions that prohibit blood transfusions and those who do not believe in medical intervention at all. There are some that would not allow men and women to be alone together, even in the workplace (e.g., Mike Pence).
Respect for women does not exist in some religions and cultures. There are places where women need the permission of a male relative just to be in public. But, in the United States of America we expect to be treated as equal adults.
When we go to work, we expect to perform the tasks required for the job. If our employer provides health insurance, we expect to be able to access the full range of our medical options.
Donald Trump is wrong on this issue. In 2018, let’s support a representative to Congress who will represent us.
South Lake Tahoe, California