Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Contraception a “woman’s health issue”?

I have listened very carefully to the debate about whether or not a Catholic institution should be forced to provide contraception (without a co-pay) as part of their health insurance. Here are both sides (in a broad sense) of the issue:

Democrats:  Contraception is a woman’s healthcare issue and woman have a right to free contraception as part of their employer provided health care coverage. It will reduce the cost of health care overall, due to reduced unwanted pregnancy, etc.

Republicans: You can’t force religious institutions to pay for morally objectionable contraception. It violates religious freedom.

Both of these arguments are emotionally charged. On one hand you have an appeal to women’s rights and health and on the other religious freedom. In times like these I go to the constitution to figure out what it really says about health care “rights”.


Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I could not find healthcare or contraception mentioned. My problem with this issue is both sides are mischaracterizing the problem for their own political gain (ie standard). We wouldn’t have this discussion at all if the federal government would stay out of it. They don’t belong in a contract discussion between you and your health insurance company any more than they belong in your job interview while you discuss your salary or at your car dealer while you negotiate a price for your new car.

 It’s bad enough that we (ie the taxpayers) have to pay for abortions (regardless of your opinion through Planned Parenthood), but now we have to pay for contraception (through higher rates overall in a government mandated system).  Now being male, apparently this issue doesn’t affect me at all, so why do I care? First of all it does affect me as a man, because the last time I checked we haven’t had any immaculate conceptions since Mary. Obviously if we are talking about preventing pregnancy or terminating one, a man was involved at some point. So this is not a “woman’s health issue”, it’s an issue of liberty. The federal government inserting itself in to places it DOES NOT belong is out of hand.

Put the shoe on the other foot. A Republican administration decides to use the current law to allow the Health and Human Services Secretary mandate insurance coverage of religious beliefs training regarding abstinence for High School students and their parents under the guise of saving money on “unwanted pregnancies”, it’s no less an egregious violation of the Constitution.

[Sarcastic tone begins here]
I have decided that we need to come to a middle ground. Let’s allow the women to decide on either contraception, abortion coverage, or coverage for their child if one is conceived while being covered, that ought to fix it. See I am Pro-choice because I gave you three choices.
[Sarcastic tone ends here]

If you think that solution is absurd, I agree with you. Personally, I think this discussion is not only absurd, but federal involvement in this issue is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

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