Last week, state senators passed an amendment to Florida’s Medicaid privatization bill that would allow providers to not offer birth control “due to an objection on moral or religious grounds.” According to state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, the amendment came at the request of “Catholic Services.” According to recent research, this restriction would remove a service that the overwhelming majority of Catholic women are actually using.
According to a report the Guttmacher Institute released last week, about “98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church.”
The Guttmacher Institute is a nonprofit research organization that focuses on sexual health issues. The institute’s most recent research finds that only 2 percent of Catholic women — including those who regularly attend church — are using “natural family planning.” Sixty-eight percent of Catholic women are using “highly effective methods” of contraception, such as sterilization, the pill and IUDs.
The Guttmacher Institute’s research shows that the alleged “controversy” surrounding the issue of birth control mostly does not include the women who stand to benefit from access to it.