Starting next year, millions of American women will have one less monthly expense to worry about.
On Monday, the Obama Administration announced the nation's health insurers will eventually have to cover birth control as preventative care, and eliminate the copays women shell out every month.
But some religious and conservative groups object, saying the move would force them to endorse concepts they're morally opposed to.
Sandra Gardner of South Colonie thinks the move is a great idea, "I think it's a great idea. It sounds like it would be helpful to families for family planning. I think it's a good idea."
So far, it appears most women are on board, and family planning advocates overwhelmingly support waived copays for drugs like birth control and the so called 'morning after pill.'
But Dennis Poust of the New York State Catholic Conference says his group and others like it are vehemently opposed to the entire concept.
Poust said, "Well, the premise that pregnancy is a disease, and contraception is healthcare, we believe, is wrong."
But even some men in the Capital Region disagree with opponents, saying they're on board with the change.
"People that probably need birth control most will be able to get it now," Michael Forman of Guilderland said.
Poust says while the New York State Catholic Conference is not on board with the idea of religious organizations like a Catholic charity, Catholic elementary school or Catholic college being mandated to fully cover each employees the birth control pill under their private health insurance plans, the concept of waiving the copay for the so-called 'morning after pill' is even more disturbing.
He said, "Religious organizations that have teachings opposed to the use of contraception or abortion, would be forced to pay for these things under this plan, unless there's comprehensive 'conscience protection' (exemption) given for all religious organizations."
But family planning advocates believe the lower out-of-pocket cost will add to the overall health of American women, and provide females across the country much needed access to family planning and other crucial healthcare services.
Tracey Brooks is the President and CEO of the Family Planning Advocates of New York. She said, "98-percent of women say this is part of the health care that they rely on regularly, so be able to access it with no cost sharing, no copay, no deductable makes sense."
Brooks wanted to make it clear that under the change, birth control and the so called 'morning after pill' will not be 'free,' rather, the copay will be waived, and insurance companies will then be mandated to pay a slightly higher portion of the bill.
Local family planning advocates say eliminating the copay is all about providing more preventative care for women.
Brooks said, "This is not just about birth control. Annual doctor's appointments can be held without a copay or any deductable. (Pregnant) Women will be able to be screened for gestational diabetes earlier, there will be counseling for lactation to promote breast feeding without a copay or deductable, domestic violence counseling will be covered."
Either way, some religious groups are calling for an exemption from the new rules.
Poust said, "We have quite a few problems with it, to be frank. We're talking about preventative healthcare, and legitimate things like colonoscopies and mammograms and PAP smears that the government says will bring costs down if women get these things. People have the right to use contraception if they want to, but it is not preventative healthcare and shouldn't be treated as such."
Brooks could not disagree more strongly.
She said Monday's announcement will help to prevent many types of cancer and, overall is a huge step for American women.
She said, "Ninety-eight-percent of the women of this country, and this is women between the ages of 18 and 44, identify, at some point in their life as having used birth control. And for somebody to oppose it because they feel it's morally inappropriate? I think the women of the U.S. have spoken."
According to the Family Planning Advocates of New York, new health plans will need to include these services without copays for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012.