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Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company  
The New York Times

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December 17, 2000, Sunday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section 4; Page 2; Column 2; Week in Review Desk

LENGTH: 137 words

HEADLINE: December 10 - 16;
All About Sex

BYLINE:  By Jodi Wilgoren

It was Viagra that made women's groups so mad: if company health plans would pay for a pill to help men's sexual performance, why not women's birth-control pills? Many employers said they would not cover prescription contraceptives for either sex, and it just happened that the five on the market -- the pill, the intrauterine device, the diaphragm, Norplant and Depo-Provera -- are all for women. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that the exclusion of contraception coverage is sex discrimination. But Viagra was not the issue. Rather, the commission said, employers who pay for vaccinations and blood-pressure pills must also cover prescription contraceptives, because under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, preventing pregnancy must be treated like any other preventive care.   Tamar Lewin

LOAD-DATE: December 17, 2000

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