I Choose No Contraception, so Why am I Paying For It? This is Really a Mandate Against Life
It's no longer simply "My Body, My Choice." Now it's "My Body, My Contraception, Your Cost, No Choice for You."
Caring for a pregnant woman is expensive. Caring for children is even more expensive. Preventing their existence is cheap. Destroying them in the womb is a money-saving act in the long run. This kind of thinking is what this mandate is really all about. This kind of thinking will kill us.
But in light of President Obama's horrendous contraception mandate I have to ask: Why must contraception be free? Why is contraception so special?
My thyroid medication isn't free, nor is the medication I take to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Last I heard, people weren't getting their heart medication for free, nor were medicines for cancer being given out free of charge. Last time one of my kids had an ear infection or strep throat, I didn't get the antibiotic and cough syrup they needed for free. The long line at the pharmacy is full of folks paying for prescriptions they need to stay healthy or prevent future serious illness.
These medicines are treating actual diseases; real illnesses. Fertility is not a disease. Pregnancy is not a disease or an illness. Women do not need the Pill. In fact, the laundry list of health risks and problems caused by artificial hormones is extensive, so it's not even accurate to say that the Pill is good for women. (Or the rest of the world if you consider the hormones being passed into our soil and water, etc., but that's another story.)
This mandate doesn't even jive with the feminist doctrine that it's "a woman's right to choose." Isn't that what's been beaten into our heads for 40 years? Isn't that the applause line the politicians throw out like candy to women? That "a woman's right to choose" is sacrosanct and inviolate?
Well, if that's true, then why must I be required to pay for other women's choices? I choose not to have anything to do with contraception. That's my choice. I don't need it, don't want it, and don't think it's healthy or moral. If Jane wants to take the Pill or use the patch or an IUD or whatever else, fine, she can have it. But it's her choice so she can pay for it herself. She has no right to expect free pills and patches. Taking a note from both Catholic doctrine and military philosophy, Freedom Isn't Free. If Jane wants to be free to choose, then she must accept responsibility for her choices. Why does her personal, private choice regarding "her body" get to require my participation and demand my resources?
Why does "choice" go out the window when it comes to contraception? Because where sex and babies are concerned, "choice" is a facade. It's a laughable misnomer at best. Decades of treating our babies like parasites and unwanted intruders and blobs of cells that we can eliminate at will has left us with an ingrained animosity towards female fertility, pregnancy, and babies. As a society we have come to see the natural gifts of the female body and the miraculous gift of new life as a threat to our freedom, our happiness, and our prosperity. The concept of women's health care has become so lopsided and warped that it only seems to be defined as preventing pregnancy and killing fetuses.
Smell the hypocrisy? Out of one side of their mouths, the pro-abortion community is demanding free contraceptives, abortion pills, and sterilization procedures be provided to everyone, even by government mandate. Out of the other side of their mouths these same people say the government has no business telling a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. It's no longer simply "My Body, My Choice." Now it's "My Body, My Choice = My Contraception, Your Cost, No Choice for You." (Apparently the government doesn't have to stay out of your bedroom if they're giving you free birth control and abortifacient pills.)
Let's cut the bull: this "free" contraception will not be free. Drug companies will not begin manufacturing and giving the Pill away for nothing. The insurance companies will not benevolently absorb the cost. They will pass the cost on to their paying customers -- individuals and employers -- even if those paying customers are not asking for contraception or in fact, are morally opposed to contraception.
Planned Parenthood says that the birth control pill costs between $15 and $50 dollars per month depending on the specific pill and the insurance coverage. One has to wonder, if unlimited access to free birth control is so important to PP and women's health care, why haven't they been giving the stuff away themselves all these years? One has to wonder, just what is all that Title X "family planning" money being spent on, if it's not supplying women with birth control?
Indeed, far from giving it away, PP has enjoyed steady profits from selling contraceptive pills to all those needy women they care so much about. Recall the suit against Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles in 2008 in which a former PP official alleged massive fraud related to overcharging for birth control pills. While other public medical facilities billed the state for between $8 and $9 dollars per cycle of pills, Planned Parenthood billed the state $12 dollars, which was several times more than what PP paid for the drugs originally. The whistleblower estimated that PP overcharged the state of California by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Planned Parenthood actually complained to CA state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson that unless they were permitted to charge more for the pills, they would suffer financial problems so severe that it would threaten their survival. So Jackson sponsored legislation to allow Planned Parenthood to charge more for birth control pills going forward. Special treatment for PP, anyone? Even amid charges of fraud to the tune of $180 million dollars, PP is protected and placated at every turn by our government, all in the name of "women's health care."
So according to PP's own statement, we know they just can't survive without the revenue from the sale (and overcharging) of contraception. And Obama's mandate says that women simply must not have to pay a penny for contraception any longer. Well, somebody somewhere is going to pay! What in the world makes anyone believe that suddenly insurers will generously take the burden of cost upon themselves?
So many things about this mandate trouble me: the trampling of our Constitutional right to religious freedom; the overreach of the Federal Government into the marketplace and people's lives; the audacity of a President who believes he can hand down edicts from on high requiring citizens to buy whatever he says they must; the tyranny of a President who demands that an entire religion of people violate their faith and conscience and bow to him rather than God.
But something else troubles me greatly -- the cementing into our society by means of government mandate this animosity towards pregnancy, childbirth, babies, and women who do not subscribe to the dictates of modern "feminism." From the top-down, our Federal government is intent on creating a medical system in which fertility will be seen as a disease, a liability, and something to be tightly-controlled. No longer will pregnancy be welcomed (in fact, many insurers already don't welcome pregnancy and maternity coverage), but it will become actively discouraged and even punished by medical insurers and physicians who don't want to risk the cost and involvement. It'll be so much easier and cheaper just to hand out contraception, abortifacients, and sterilize people.
Caring for a pregnant woman is expensive. Caring for children is even more expensive. Preventing their existence is cheap. Destroying them in the womb is a money-saving act in the long run. This kind of thinking is what this mandate is really all about. This kind of thinking is both the seed and the fruit of the culture of death. This kind of thinking will kill us.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah! and MCH.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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