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IOM: Women should get free birth control

PBS News Hour, July 20, 2011

All U.S. women should have access to free birth control as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law, the Institute of Medicine recommended Tuesday, along with eight other suggestions for preventive health services. Commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services to identify "critical gaps" in the agency's list of preventive services, the highly influential IOM report recommends that all U.S.-approved birth control methods be covered by insurers. That includes the highly controversial "morning-after" or "Plan B" pill that is considered by some to be a form of abortion because the woman takes it in the hours after sexual intercourse. The reform law requires insurance plans to cover services on the HHS list, meaning the adoption of the recommendation would make the pill co-pay free for "all women of reproductive capacity."