Overheard on CNN.com: Birth control should be free
The Institute of Medicine, an independent advisory group, says insurance should offer free birth control and sex education.
July 20th, 2011
04:52 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Birth control should be free

Comment of the day:

“Yes, yes, yes, yes. The UN should be funding planes to fly over all countries dropping the Pill. Overpopulation of this planet is by far the greatest threat to mankind.” –tommas

New report recommends full coverage

Contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health care reform law, a new report by the Institute of Medicine recommends. Birth control and how it’s obtained remains controversial among anti-abortion groups, but most CNN.com readers agreed with the report.

wrgbiv said, “Am I the only one who is COMPLETELY behind this idea?” VinoBianco responded. “Nope! I fully support free birth control, this is an excellent idea. thumos888 said, “Nope, many of us are. We're just baffled by the idiots who argue that preventing unwanted pregnancies will some how increase insurance costs.” gregsbenidic said, “I really REALLY hope not. This would be the best money the government has spent in my life time. No question.”

Gnatter said, “Better availability to birth control means less demand for abortions. Right to Lifers should support this unless they believe that sex is only for procreation. Social conservatives should support this for the same reason. But they won't.”

PaleinPDX said, “The cost of birth control is FAR less than the cost to raise a child. Especially an unwanted one - for whatever reason.”

doughnuts said, “A lot of the comments on this story have gone a long way toward confirming something that I have suspected for quite a while. The ‘Pro-Life’ folks aren't really interested in saving fetuses from being aborted. They're really only interested in punishing women for having sex.”

Guest141414 responded, “Women who have sex without protection or the use of contraceptives are engaging in a practice with very well-known consequences. Why should someone else be forced to pay in order to remove the natural consequences of a choice? Personal responsibility goes a lot further than demanding that someone else bail you out.”

lcb1783 said, “Does anyone remember the war on Planned Parenthood? I mean, that literally just happened. Now this report comes out? I agree that women's health is absolutely necessary and a right of all women everywhere. Yes, birth control should be free – with populations on the rise this should be a no-brainer. We have a long way to go as a society”

msacks responded, “It's not about it being free because we want to control the population. It's about it being free because it will save everyone else money by reducing health care costs overall.”

DarkStarWNY responded, “So, a medicine that allows people to be irresponsible should be free (by irresponsible I am simply pointing out that pregnancy can be easily avoided without these medicines) but it would still be okay to charge copays for medicine people need to survive?”

james1095 said, “I'd gladly chip in a bit extra to support this. Free birth control is a sound investment and a whole lot cheaper than welfare to support unwanted children. People are going to get freaky no matter how much we stick our heads in the sand and preach abstinence.”

Driranek said, “Free: A half measure at best. Contraception should be mandatory if you are receiving public assistance. Why should we pay for more if you can't support those you’ve got?”

Can the Gang save the day?

A bipartisan group of senators, dubbed the Gang of Six, have been working tirelessly to find a balanced plan to restore our nation's fiscal responsibility. On Wednesday, the group delivered a plan that President Obama and some conservative Republicans support. The plan includes a $3.7 trillion debt reduction - the latest effort to avoid a potentially catastrophic default next month on the federal government's financial obligations.

Many CNN.com readers remain skeptical, if not weary, of the subject, but a few heralded the progress:

MMjmm said, “Kudos to Obama and the bipartisan gang of six. A 3.7 trillion dollar deficit reduction bill is on the table, with spending cuts, entitlement reform, military budget cuts, and tax increases on the wealthy... get it done GOP – Boehner and Cantor, you guys are the ones acting like children.”

epicism responded, “It's tough, but a good compromise. Let's hope our leaders distance themselves from the brinksmanship they've been rocking for six months over this one issue. Goodness knows there's a lot more work to be done.”

murkymook said, “Where are the tax increases for the wealthy? Under this plan, their tax rate is revised downward to 23–29 percent. And the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is aimed at the wealthy, is eliminated.”

curtisb responded, “@ murkymook: I'm not sure there is enough information out about the tax reform yet to say if it raises taxes on the rich or not. If sufficient tax loopholes are closed, you can lower the tax bracket and still bring in more revenue than you were before.

AGreenspam said, “I think any attempt to reduce deficit right now is a very bad idea. We need jobs first! Then we can tackle deficit problem later! We need to get the economy growing again!”

Iappodi said, “These articles are getting harder and harder to read. This is all POLITICAL THEATER. I am not interested in a "gang" of any number. Such political ‘cuteness' is not cute any more. These people, who willingly dipped into Social Security, now pretend that the Social Security is not solvent! We all know that it is solvent till nearly the mid century, and who knows what will be after that! So why are they messing with it? Because they are using it to fund wars and pay war profiteers, so they are telling us, the idiots, that the system needs ‘fixing.’ But we’re not laughing any more, nor have stomach for any ‘gang’ of senators to give us their ‘brave’ solutions. They are all the same, as there is really just one party. So, the theatrics of this president, that was supposed to be DIFFERENT, are even harder to take.”

No love for the Winklevoss twins

During an interview at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference, Larry Summers, former president of Harvard, didn’t mince words when asked about the portrayal of his meeting with the Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network.” "Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind,” Summers said. He also said he thought that they were a**holes.

Most CNN.com readers were amused by Summers, but others defended the twins:

DPGW said, “Both went to Harvard. Both have more money than most people can count. Neither one knows how to tie a tie.” rtgunlimited responded, “They are probably just shocked that no one has sympathy for them getting 'shafted' with $65 million.”

Dalmac said, “Quit crying to your daddy and go get a job.” DidResearch said, “They don't need a job. They came from a rich daddy and now they have $65 million from Facebook. What they need is to grow up and get a life. They look uncannily like the Menendez Brothers.”

endcrownsall said, “Comparing the Winklevoss twins to murderers now? Sorry - the Menendez brothers were Princeton men. ... You don't work for Facebook, do you?”

hecep said, “Here's to hoping that the Winklevoss twins lose at any and all litigation along with tons of dough to their legal counsel.”

asd80 said, “It's not the suits that made them a-holes. It was their smug faces and entitled rich boy attitude.”

HoustonSteve said, “Looks like Summers is angling for a spot on the Facebook board so he can collect another six figure salary while sitting on his fat a**.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Abortion Survivor

    @Joey I. Doctors have botched far simpler procedures, as you know but will not admit. My mother changed her mind during the pba, just as they had pulled me halway out so as to poke a hole in my head and suck out my brains. This is just one of the many ways that potential humans have survived abortionist attacks over the years. Lightning struck one "Dr." just as he was about to end the life of another potential girl, killing him and sending her mother into a year-long coma. That potential girl's name is Julie. She works at Petsmart now, and is studying to become an electrical engineer.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. End Welfare

    And now that we're done bailing-out the banks that loaned money for people to buy homes that they simply could not afford, anyone whose home get's repo'd shouldn't be allowed any government assistance. No 'cake and eat it too' for the dummies who buy stuff they can't afford to pay for. Yeah YOU Uncle Sam you greedy wasteful old codger)

    July 21, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ella and Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Abortion Survivor:
    So there was not an abortion, as your mother changed her mind.
    Yes, I know that doctors sometimes amputate the wrong limb.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Abortion Survivor's of Americans lately

    I hear ya Joey. They tried to amputate all of me! he he But it was a failed abortionist attack that I survived, and can now be called an 'Abortion Survivor' rightly. The vast majority of potential humans attacked by abortionists don't make it out alive, especially those with mothers who sided with the enemy. It's stories like mine that give but a small ray of hope to those who on this very morning have been attacked by the abortionists... should they survive the ordeal and reach for their potential. May the God of your President Obama whom he prays to look after these little ones.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. the Earth is "overpopulayed"? LMAO

    The earth is nowhere near being overpopulated. There are about 5 acres of arable land (land you can grow food on) for every single man, woman, and child on earth. Currently, the earth produces about 4 or 5 times the amount of food we need to survive. Yet over half of the world's families live on less than 4 dollars per day, not counting the ones who starved to death as their home country's produce was shipped elsewhere for distribution to nations of people who are deep in debt...and can't afford enough food to maintain current obesity levels/lifestyle choices?

    July 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. elove

    We cant get balanced $$ But today "we" Said we would send 28 million To somalia for starving what about our starving cut aid to other countries we'D save lots of $$$

    July 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. what we say...

    ...and what we do are often not the same. Promises of aid are sounded through the same bullhorn that campaign promises are sounded through, the major media. It's loud for hot air.

    July 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hope

    For those of you that keep saying birth control should be required, your thoughts were shared with many in our world’s history starting in the 1900s. You normally just hear about eugenics in relation to the Nazi party; however it was big here in America and was very connected to the creation of the pill and Planned Parenthood. Many peoples right to have children was taken away from them, in concentration camps and in hospitals. It is a scary part of our history I think you should have learned from.

    July 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valerie T

      You are so correct. I wonder how many people realize that Planned Parenthood is the product of Margaret Sanger, author of "woman and the new race." She whines over the poor as if they were the cancer of society. Her idea of a greater society was keeping the poor population down, and of course, the black race, for this she pushed birth control and yes, lectured to Klu Klux Klan meetings who, of course , loved her vision. Scary stuff and society respects that? Let's not.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
    • overpop

      Ok well since contraception is a choice, your point has little credibility. I would hope you recognize that an extreme sect of Germany (1% of Germany at the time) was completely insane and executed a genocide, so yes, of course that small exerpt you just gave sounds crazy. If you are trying to say Planned Parenthood has Nazi origins, then maybe you should be the only American to be required to take contraceptives.

      The USSR Romanians, for a short period of time actually withdrew the use of contraceptives and encouraged their population to grow during mid-century. The posterity of that policy (unwanted pregnancies) were statistically shown to have the highest concentration of crime offenders than any other ever recorded in Romania – economists discount all other possible causes of the crime increase, linking the exact demographic to the exact years of the crime increase. The same studies have been conducted in the US to the 1990's crime wave decrease. Same thing, the exact demographic's years of birth linked to year of and after Roe v Wade and levels of family planning funding all correlated with statistical significance, while every other hypothesis showed no correlation to the decrease.

      Please – pick up a science book, or read any book for that matter.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. charlieguest

    Yes and should make it available with education in Somalia, Ethiopia, etc. I just have to shake my head when I read these reports of starving people trekking miles to find food or relief from the famine....a mom and dad with their 14 children in tow!!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James R Tassava

    Absolutely and especially to those of religions which forbid birth control and are overpopulating even the United States.

    August 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • adopt!

      I wish they could, in addition to covering birth control, make adoption more feasible! I can't explain how involuntarily disgusted I become when I see people throwing 5-8 copies of themselves out in to the world when they could scale back to 2 and spend that money to save a child who is less fortunate. 19 kids?? That's as good as stealing the resources from a poor Somalian child, people are sickening. Come on!

      Yay free contraception. Yay adoption. Boo people over reproducing.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Common Sense

    The U.S. government is 11 trillion dollars in debt. The Chineese are going to come asking to repaid, it will happen. We need to cut spending NOT increase spending. We live in a free market. For all of you Socialist high school drop outs that support free birth control and don't know what that means here is the definition. Free Market: If YOU want a product or service YOU pay for it.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
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