The Massachusetts House has passed a bill that would force insurance companies to provide free birth control to women who want it. The bill (H 4009) passed the House on a 138-16 vote last week and is off to the Senate where passage is also expected.

The bill allows women to receive a 12 month supply of birth control after an initial 3-month prescription. Coverage of emergency contraception at pharmacies is also mandated. All of this without so much as a copay.

The State House News Service quotes a Center For Health Information and Analysis report from last month which indicates the bill would cost the health care system between $1.9 million and $5.7 million dollars annually over the next five years. Like with most "free" things, guess who picks up the tab?

President Trump recently signed an executive order that he said would "provide conscience protections" to Americans with religious or moral objections to paying for health insurance covering contraception, as mandated under Obamacare. In supporting (H 4009) House Speaker Robert DeLeo called Trump's action a "shameful decision."

The bill's sponsor, Democrat Representative Aaron Michlewitz was reported by the State House News Service as saying, "A woman's right to contraceptive coverage should be absolute and unquestioned." Really? Why?

I have no objection to women, or men for that matter using contraception. I don't even have a serious problem with insurance companies covering it. But, why should consumers of such products not be required to at least pay a copay to help defray the cost to those who do not use it?

Many Massachusetts residents, including myself, take medications that are required to keep them healthy. Almost all of us pay copays. Birth control pills, in most cases, are not required medication. Whether someone uses birth control is a personal choice in most cases. If I have to pay a copay for my heart meds, why can't a woman be expected to pay a copay for contraception?

(H 4009) seeks to force Massachusetts residents to pay for the strictly optional medications sought by some in society who apparently don't feel as though they should contribute to their cost. It also encourages sometimes risky and dangerous behavior on our dime and advances the Progressive mantra that women can do what they wish with their bodies, and it's none of our business. We're just expected to pay the bill.

Tell your senators to vote no on (H 4009).

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.