In recent years, more and more women and couples have come to depend on fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) for family planning, and with good reason. As more is known about the dangers of pharmaceutical contraceptive drugs and devices, FABMs offer the effective, stimulating, side-effect-free alternative that couples have been looking for.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration is trying to illegally roll back the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory coverage for FABM instruction — so much for “choice,” right?
The cost of learning a FABM
You’ve heard the phrase “give a man a fish, feed him a day / teach a man to fish, feed him a lifetime”. Well, contraceptive pills and devices are easily the first, while instruction in a FABM is the second.
FABM teaches women and couples to read their fertility signs so they can know when they are most likely to get pregnant during the menstrual cycle and plan sex based on their desire to avoid or achieve pregnancy. FABMs are not only more stimulating than taking a pill or implanting an IUD (both suppress a woman’s natural fertility and come with a host of risks and side effects), but they are also much more profitable in the long run.
However, although FABMs are more cost effective than pharmaceutical contraceptives in the long run, learning a FABM can cost between $100 and $500. according to the method and the level of personal support a woman or couple needs. As my organization Natural Womanhood learned when we launched our scholarship fund for fertility awareness education, a number of women and couples may be challenged to fund this training when they need it most.
Biden Admin Yanks Funding for FABM Instruction
Fortunately, in recent years, some women and couples have been able to find cover for FABM teaching. The The US Department of Health and Human Services in 2016 included “instructions on methods based on fertility awareness” as part of the ACA’s demand that insurance plans refrain from imposing cost-sharing requirements on women who seek “preventive care and screenings.” Therefore, since 2016, FABM instructors can request reimbursement for the provision of their services, provided they are licensed (or covered by the license) of a medical professional.
Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to anyone but themselves, the Biden administration’s HHS suddenly decided to cancel this coverage in December 2021. If unchallenged, the new rule will go into effect in December. 2022, and thousands of women and couples seeking FABM instruction will be forced to pay out of pocket or give up altogether for lack of funds to pay for it.
This doctor is suing Biden’s HHS for it
Fortunately, Alliance Defending Freedom took the call advocate for real choice in family planning for women and couples. In doing so, they expose the utter hypocrisy of an administration that prides itself on “choice”, literally taking away the choices of family planning for thousands of women and couples in the United States. The administration’s decision is particularly ironic, given that the left is currently accusing the right of “coming next for your birth control,” to stoke even more hysteria around the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on Dobbs.
ADF’s client (and plaintiff in the case) is Dr. Cami Jo Tice-Harouff, a Texas nurse practitioner who uses FABMs not only to teach couples how to effectively plan their families, but also as a tool for which can help her diagnose and treat the underlying sources of health problems in women of all ages, such as irregular, painful and heavy periods, PMS/PMDD, infertility, etc.
Rather than placing a woman on the Band-Aid birth control solution, which simply replaces her natural cycles and does not address anything, Tice-Harouff uses information from a woman’s cycle charts (along with other tests and diagnostic procedures) for address the root cause of any cycle-related issues the woman is facing, restoring her cycle, fertility and health in the process. This is genuine women’s health, and the Biden administration is trying to take it away.
After decades of misinformation from public health authorities like the CDC and HHS, falsely equating modern biomarker-based fertility awareness methods with “the rhythm method,” It was an exciting day for many in 2016 when HHS recognized FABMs for the valid and effective family planning methods they truly are. Likewise, there was progress to celebrate when HHS required FABM instruction to be covered by insurance in the same way as other family planning methods.
The Biden administration’s ongoing attempt to remove FABMs from ACA insurance coverage is a huge step backwards and a huge setback for women and couples seeking effective, risk-free and safe forms of family planning. without side effects.
Grace Emily Stark is a freelance writer with work published in multiple outlets, and she is the editor of Natural Womanhood. Grace is also currently a Ramsey Institute Fellow at the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a former recipient of a Novak Alumni Fund Journalism Fellowship. Follow her writings at GraceEmilyStark.com.