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Article, letter show serious bias
TO THE EDITOR: The front-page article and the only letter published in the March 26 issue of Business Insurance show a serious bias toward abortion provider Planned Parenthood. Your article on contraception, on the occasion of the ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Union Pacific Railroad case on the subject of who pays for contraception, was extremely one-sided and relied on the opinions of Planned Parenthood to establish the "correct" position. Planned Parenthood, as they would be pleased to tell you, is the pre-eminent killer of unborn children in the United States for many years.
But quoting Planned Parenthood on the subject of eliminating children was not offensive enough; Business Insurance solicited a letter from the Assn. of Reproductive Health Professionals, previously known as the Assn. of Planned Parenthood Professionals. This group not only supports the entire abortion agenda of Planned Parenthood, but on its Web site, acts as an employment agency for abortionists to link them to clinics.
The letter by Wayne Shields and James Trussell ends by implying that corporations have a responsibility to become a party to the elimination of their employees' children. This opinion is drawn from some sort of national expense figures no doubt assembled by Planned Parenthood or their research arm. Hopefully the directors at most corporations are smarter than these representatives of ARHP and realize that attempting to become involved in the family planning decisions of their employees is a serious overreaching that wasn't even imagined by George Orwell.
If acting as a running dog apologist for Planned Parenthood is the new direction of Business Insurance magazine, I will need to rely on other publications for my insurance news.
Editor's note: BI did not solicit any letter. All readers are welcome to voice their opinions on subjects relating to risk management, insurance and employee benefits.
Contraceptive story raises questions
TO THE EDITOR: The March 26 article on a court upholding Union Pacific Railroad Co.'s denial of coverage for contraceptives raised many questions in my mind.
Why did you have a story, particularly on the front page, that one of the persons quoted in it says she "can't imagine that someone on the basis of this (ruling) would be making any decisions"? Why did you quote a Planned Parenthood attorney who opposes the ruling but failed to ask Union Pacific Railroad, whose decision is supported by the ruling, why they choose not to provide coverage for contraceptives in their prescription drug plan? When using their data, why did you not disclose the Guttmacher Institute's close affiliation with Planned Parenthood?
Why not challenge the illogical assumption that someone who has decided to use contraceptives will stop doing so, or not start, if the cost is not covered by their prescription drug plan, a cost estimated in your article to be only $350 a year?
Why do you put forward the argument that "recruiting factors" are a reason to include coverage for contraceptives? Would you make the same argument for vision services, which for a family often cover more than $350 in annual costs?
Was the letter published in the March 26 issue, criticizing the ruling in response to your article on this same topic in the March 19 issue, the only letter you received in response to the earlier article? Since it was the only letter published, you must believe it was the most important letter you received in time for publication in the March 26 issue.
If you want to help business decision makers carefully evaluate what they include in their benefit plans in light of this ruling, shouldn't you remind them of the fact that almost all plans exclude coverage for elective procedures and prescriptions--that is, those not medically necessary? Unless there are valid medical references that define pregnancy as an illness or a disease, use of contraceptives is elective in virtually every situation.
If you want to advance causes related to culture or morality, with no material relevance to business insurance, shouldn't you at least limit that to your editorials?
Greg Dodd, CPCU, ARM
Editor's note: The March 26 letter criticizing the ruling on contraceptive coverage was, coincidentally, the only letter Business Insurance received before that issue went to press. The Guttmacher Institute was founded in 1968 by Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, a president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and an advocate of contraception and abortion services.