As part of the Affordable Care Act of last year proposed by President Obama, prescription birth control pills have been covered. This followed a recommendation for this by an expert panel on health care.
The recommendation was for all birth control benefits to be covered without co-pays in all new health insurance plans, thus assuring birth control and family planning for all women. (Wait a minute – we get to the religious part shortly!)
The Obama administration accepted this recommendation but there was an exception for certain religious employers. Even with that, these employers could have used the Nancy Reagan drug plan (Just say “no”) to tell their employees to not accept insurance payments for birth control. Oh that’s right, the Nancy Reagan plan did not work that well.
In any case, according to the population and family planning group Population Connection, that was not good enough for certain groups who want a vast expansion of the exemption to provide birth control to control the rights of others in this country. That’s according to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association.
Experts estimate that such a vast expansion of the exemption to provide birth control would put at least one million women across the country without access to this valuable health benefit.
The irony and hypocrisy of all this is that the same Catholic groups along with some fundamentalists are those who also want to stop all legal abortions in this country.
Now wait a minute. Stay with me here on the logic of the following – it won’t be hard. One million women without the benefit of birth control will undoubtedly mean more unwanted pregnancies. More unwanted pregnancies will undoubtedly mean more abortions, whether legal and medically sound or back-alley butchery. More unwanted pregnancies and abortions could be prevented by more available birth control methods along with the necessary options, education and health care.
Isn’t it ironic that those same religious types, whether of Catholic or fundamentalist persuasion, want fewer or no abortions and also want to eliminate the method – birth control – which is the only sensible way to prevent fertilized eggs, uterine implantation and all the steps from then on that to more unwanted children or more abortions?
Isn’t it ironic that some of these groups – mostly fundamentalist religious groups – also want to prevent the health and sex education in schools? Isn’t it ironic that these same schools also often have high percentages of unwed mothers in high school?
Isn’t it ironic that in those schools with a high percentage of unwed mothers, only abstinence has been taught along with the teaching that birth control methods do not work? Isn’t ironic that in Rick Perry’s state where abstinence is taught in place of real sex education, that Texas remains at the top of the list with the highest numbers of unwed mothers in high school?
Isn’t it ironic that in Texas also has the highest number of high schoolers with two or more children? After all, if birth control does not work, as they are taught, why use it again even after the first child?
Should we ban the religious from school boards or just muddle along, ignorant and pregnant as we are now?