The Department of Health & Human Services announced last week that it was issuing regulations under the new healthcare law (Obamacare) whereby heath insurance plans are mandated to provide birth control for women with no co-pays. That means birth control chemicals, including abortifacients, are now free – free, of course, means that you and I pay for it through higher insurance premiums. More importantly, women will now view birth control as a “medicine,” supposedly taken to prevent a “disease.” Pregnancy and childbirth have moved from a woman’s natural, wonderful privilege – an intimate matter to be shared with her husband as a matter of family privacy – to a medical “state” needing government and insurance representatives’ intervention for prevention and/or elimination.
The federal mandate comes under the pretense that birth control is an essential element of “women’s preventative health care” – a phrase that allows anybody to get away with anything these days. Just say something is good for women and male leaders quake in their boots and don’t dare to ask questions. Such is the outcome of feminist initiatives over the past several decades. Women aren’t really better off in their personal lives, but they do have a certain type of power in the public square. Any so-called “progressive” initiative that is “for women” is sure to get celebrity endorsement and liberals, whether in the Democratic or Republican Party, to rush to give approval, no questions asked.
The new mandate for free birth control is a clear example of bad policy being foisted onto an unwilling public by bogus arguments. Requiring insurance companies to provide free birth control, including abortifacients, is a bad idea for at least five reasons.
(1) Moral Issue: Providing free birth control is a moral issue. Many Americans have moral objections to contraceptives and they shouldn’t be forced to pay for something that violates their conscience. Further, evidence is clear that some of the approved birth control methods do not serve to prevent conception but are, in fact, abortifacients. Americans have repeatedly made it clear that they do not want public funding for abortions. President Obama promised that his healthcare law would not fund abortions yet here we are today with his administration mandating coverage of birth control, including abortifacients like “Ella” and the morning after pill. The bottom line is that Americans will be required to pay for abortion-inducing drugs via their health insurance premiums.
(2) Practical Issue: The federal mandate is being touted as necessary for poor women who cannot afford birth control. Clearly, this is a bogus issue; the need is not there. Birth control is available across the nation at little to no cost, subsidized by government programs providing contraceptives to people who cannot afford to purchase them on their own. Clinics offering free or very low-cost birth control to the needy are strategically located to maximize poor women’s access to such products in America’s cities as well as our small towns.
(3) Philosophical Issue: Reasonable people ask why the insurance policies should provide “free” (which actually means paid for by other insured policy holders’ money) contraceptives. A basic philosophical principle of giving is that we should not do for others what they can and should do for themselves. If women want birth control, they should pay for it with their own money or their own time and effort by going to a free clinic that is subsidized by voluntary contributions.
(4) Ideological Issue: The initiative to force insurance companies to provide free birth control is an invasion of personal privacy and, in effect, moves the government into the public’s bedrooms. Ironically, this push into people’s privacy is sponsored by the very people who yell the loudest about getting government out of people’s bedrooms when the talk is about abstinence education. Yet, federally-funded birth control is a ‘foot in the door’ for government control of the most private areas of our lives and is a throw back to the discredited eugenics movement.
(5) Financial issue: Linking poverty to the women’s issue is an even more certain move for leftist victories on policy initiatives. Providing free contraception to poor women is demagoguery of the highest order. A recent Heritage Foundation report about poverty in the United States pointed out that poverty in America is more often about spending habits than about lack of money. The Heritage study found that most of the American “poor” have cell phones, big screen TVs with extensive cable service, late-model cars and name-brand clothes — quite an eye-opener about the spending habits of the so-called poor in this country.
Clearly, the move to provide free contraception is a ruse to get abortion-causing drugs (Plan B, the popularly-called morning-after pill, and the new drug, Ella) as a component of women’s health care and a free option for poor pregnant women (a eugenics move that ought to repulse Americans as abortion among black women approaches near genocidal levels). These drugs, as well-informed people know, constitute a potential threat to women’s health and certainly should not be randomly issued to women without appropriate medical supervision. The Obama Administration’s ideologically-driven agenda has moved beyond politically-correct to becoming a threat to women’s well-being and an attack on the conscience rights of Americans.