Thursday, March 16, 2006

Finals & Birth Control News

I'm coming out of hiding -- but only for a few minutes! I'm about 4 pages into my first final paper, two more coming after this. Will have updates on progress. Must leave next Weds morning, which seems to approach much too quickly.

But I had to post this, from Shakespeare's Sister: Poor People Shouldn't Have Sex. Apparently, Missouri is all for unplanned pregnancies, which someone ought to tell them is only going to increase abortion rates:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - An attempt to resume state spending on birth control got shot down Wednesday by House members who argued it would have amounted to an endorsement of promiscuous lifestyles.

Missouri stopped providing money for family planning and certain women's health services when Republicans gained control of both chambers of the Legislature in 2003.

But a Democratic lawmaker, in a little-noticed committee amendment, had successfully inserted language into the proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that would have allowed part of the $9.2 million intended for "core public health functions" to go to contraception provided through public health clinics.


"If you hand out contraception to single women, we're saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that," Phillips, R-Kansas City, said in an interview.

Others, including some lawmakers who described themselves as "pro-life," said it was illogical for anti-abortion lawmakers to deny money for contraception to low-income people who use public health clinics.

"It's going to have the opposite effect of what the intention is, which will be more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions," said Rep. Kate Meiners, D-Kansas City.

The other alternative is for low-income women to give birth to more children, which is only likely to drive up the state's costs to provide services to them, said Democratic Rep. Melba Curls, also of Kansas City.

That's great. Contraception = promiscuity. And what's with the insertion of "single women"? As if there aren't any "single men" involved in needing contraception? And do these people realistically think that poor people will simply stop having sex (which despite much of the religious rights' efforts, is still a "natural" part of life, beneath all the culturally laden "sex is bad" baggage)? I can imagine it now: a woman goes to one of these clinics, is denied contraception that she can actually afford, and goes home to her partner. Are said partner and said woman going to simply sleep in separate beds for evermore? Is there some magic point at which the MO republican lawmakers will allow poor married people to have contraception, because it offends their sensibilities less? This bill pretty much sums up the endpoint for many Republican lawmakers: not just outlawing abortion, but turning the clock back to the days when women couldn't access simple birth control devices.

Missouri Right to Life said it was concerned with the contraception language because it was loosely written and could have included emergency contraception - often referred to as the morning-after pill.

The Missouri Catholic Conference also opposed the birth control funding.

"State taxpayers should not be required to subsidize activities they believe are immoral or unethical, relating to contraceptives or abortions," said Larry Weber, executive director of the state Catholic Conference.

And does the MO Right to Life bother to consult scientific studies on the morning after pill? Because two independent studies just came out which again confirm that Plan B works much like normal birth control pills. When taken in these higher doses over such a short period of time, Plan B prevents ovulation, but does not have the effect of creating a "hostile uterus." So now, even those who believe that when sperm meets egg, a complete human is formed, must concede that Plan B is not an "abortion." In other words, that worry is completely unfounded.

I especially love that the Missouri Catholic Conference thinks they should be able to opt out of the state providing basic family planning services (we're talking condoms and birth control pills here, people). Last I checked, I can't opt out of paying taxes that support a war I'm morally and politically opposed to. So let's break this down. I can't decide I'm not paying taxes because I don't want to financially support taking real human lives. And if I even suggested opting out, lawmakers might refer me to the IRS, and accuse me of being "unpatriotic." But the Missouri Catholic Conference, it's totally acceptable and laudable for them to influence lawmakers into taking away basic medical services for the poor, suggesting that poor people should simply never have sex unless they want a pregnancy. It's completely ethical for them to lobby to basically cause many unplanned pregnancies, many of which will be aborted. Right, it makes perfect sense.


ricki said...

I'm concerned and agree with everything you say. We voice our opinions against the war. We voice our opinions to protect an environment that cannot speak for itself. And now we voice our opinions to help limit our already overpopulated world from unwanted children, which will burden welfare resources.
We are almost hoarse, But we will never be silent!! have there ever been so many crucial issues on the line?

Mum said...

I must say, I am very happy to have reached menopause.
Birth control may not concern me so much personally, but I have another beef!
Getting the health insurance companies to pay for colonostrophy for people over age 50. Currently only 20 states mandate this. For every dollar spent in prevention of colon cancer, it saves three dollars down the road for treatment.