Opinion: Birth control is every woman’s right — from those who want to prevent pregnancy, to others who use it to treat illness

A one-month dosage of birth control pills.
A one-month dosage of birth control pills.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: I applaud The Times Editorial Board for pointing out how critical birth control coverage is to women and people of all genders. (“Allowing employers a ‘moral exemption’ from offering birth control coverage is immoral,” editorial, Jan. 2)

As an obstetrics and gynecology physician in Los Angeles, I often see the positive effects of birth control in people’s lives. We know from decades of research that birth control is fundamental to improving the health of women and families. It provides essential protection for patients who want to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy that would endanger a life.

Birth control also helps treat many medical illnesses. Recently, I saw a patient who needed blood transfusions because of heavy periods; she was cured after using birth control. Another patient can finally go back to work because using birth control stopped her debilitating pelvic pain from endometriosis.


Birth control is truly life-saving healthcare, and the decision to use it should remain between patients and their doctors, not employers.

Kristyn Brandi, MD, Los Angeles


To the editor: Once again The Times Editorial Board deems employer-covered birth control as a “ woman’s right.”

In the vast majority of cases, taking birth control is a choice made by women who do not want to become pregnant. That is their prerogative, but it should not be the financial responsibility of taxpayers or employers. In those rare cases where pregnancy can be life-threatening, private or employer insurance, or even Medicaid, should of course cover it.

Some say that birth control for women and treatments for erectile dysfunction in men should be looked at equally. Not so. One is a medical condition, and the other is a choice.

Bob Guarrera, Laguna


To the editor: Plaudits for your editorial’s eminently sensible view: “The Trump administration should not impose its wrongheaded moral principles on the rest of us by denying birth control coverage to women.”

There’s no defending newly issued rules that allow employers’ “moral objections” to limit female employees’ reproductive choices. Does anyone think that these rules reflect moral principles embraced by the thrice-married Trump, who has boasted of grabbing unwary women by their private parts?

Rather, the new rules instead betray Trump’s ceaseless pandering to the religious right, whose adherents don’t mind being impoverished by tax cuts for the rich so long as they can discourage contraception and abortion.

One sure solution: Elect female majorities in Congress. How better to ensure reproductive freedom for women?

Greg Gilbert, Burney, Calif.

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