Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Fluke’s testimony highlights broad uses of birth control, but pain applications go beyond ovarian cysts

The Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage currently being debated in the US Congress could allow institutions that provide health insurance to opt-out of covering birth control pills for religious or moral reasons. Such policies have, in the past, raised difficulties for women prescribed the drugs for noncontraceptive uses, such as the treatment of pain from ovarian cysts. On 23 February, a law student at Georgetown University named Sandra Fluke testified before the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that when insurance coverage doesn’t cover contraceptives, it can deny women such a friend of Fluke’s with polycystic ovarian syndrome access to birth control prescribed to treat the condition. 


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