Rep. Jan Schakowsky seemingly unaware of sterilization proviso in Obamacare law
'I'll check that out,' Schakowsky says at press conference
In a highly awkward moment, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.) said that she was "unaware" that the preventive services regulation that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has issued under the Obamacare law offers free sterilizations to teenage girls. She had previously acknowledged in March that the mandate offers sterilizations free of charge to college-age women.
'I don't--I'm unaware that it says that sterilization including teens is in that. I'll check that out,' Rep. Jan Schakowsky replied with awkward hesitation, 'I will check that out,' she said.
CNSNews.com asked Rep. Schakowsky in Washington, D.C. this week, "The HHS preventive services mandate requires all health plans to offer free sterilizations, including to girls in their teens. Do you support the mandate as it applies to teens?"
"I don't--I'm unaware that it says that sterilization including teens is in that. I'll check that out," Schakowsky replied with awkward hesitation, "I will check that out," she said.
"It says all women of 'reproductive capacity,' and it defines it as from menarche to menopause," CNSNews.com said.
"I'll check that out," she said.
This stipulation of the law was recommended by a federally funded committee at the Institute of Medicine (a part of the National Academy of Sciences), which explained in making its recommendation that "women with reproductive capacity" meant women "from the time of menarche (a young woman's first menstrual cycle) to menopause.
"Unintended pregnancy is defined as a pregnancy that is either unwanted or mistimed at the time of conception . and affects women with reproductive capacity, that is, from the time of menarche to menopause." The HHS-mandated insurance coverage could provide sterilizations without cost-sharing to girls as young as 12.
"Preventing Unintended Pregnancy and Promoting Healthy Birth Spacing," the IOM report's recommendation states, "Unintended pregnancy is highly prevalent in the United States.
"Although 1 in 20 American women has an unintended pregnancy each year, unintended pregnancy is more likely among women who are aged 18 to 24 years and unmarried, who have a low income, who are not high school graduates, and who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group," the report reads.
The section concludes: "The committee recommends for consideration as a preventive service for women: the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Rep. Jan Schakowsky, sterilization, Obamacare
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