New York Parakeet Cage Liner columnist Nick Kristof opened his column thusly:
I MAY not be as theologically sophisticated as American bishops, but I had thought that Jesus talked more about helping the poor than about banning contraceptives.
And it didn’t get better from there.
The rest basically assumes that people have sex with the same frequency as they get a glass of water, and with about as much deliberation.
He says, “few areas have more impact on more people than birth control — and few are more central to efforts to chip away at poverty.”
I’ll grant him the first portion: many people have harmed themselves—hormonally, and emotionally—by using contraceptives. We ought to make them more difficult to get so women’s health is not so damaged. That’s not to mention the many people who were not conceived at all or who were denied the comfort of their mother’s womb after conception due to an abortofacient drug.
The second portion of that statement is a firm belief based in no evidence. Contraception has been around how long now? And there are still people in poverty? Right.
Even if the underlying logic is correct—that having more kids makes it harder to get out of poverty—I can think of another means to prevent the having of more kids. Chances are good that if you are reading this right now, you are partaking in that means of not having more kids. If your status is otherwise, you may want to rethink your sex life.
Abstinence is not even considered.
For this guy Blood Hound Gang was right: “You and me, baby, ain’t nothin’ but mammals/So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”
The cost of birth control is one reason poor women are more than three times as likely to end up pregnant unintentionally as middle-class women.
In short, birth control is not a frill that can be lightly dropped to avoid offending bishops.
The irony is that earlier he talked slightingly of what he perceived as a “patronizing tone” among the opponents of the HHS mandate.
Coverage for contraception should be a pillar of our public health policy — and, it seems to me, of any faith-based effort to be our brother’s keeper, or our sister’s.
Nick, when you found your own religion you can establish its norms. We’ll keep ours just as it is, thanks.
Then the real cynical stuff comes out:
To understand the centrality of birth control, consider that every dollar that the United States government spends on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74, according to Guttmacher. Likewise, the National Business Group on Health estimated that it costs employers at least an extra 15 percent if they don’t cover contraception in their health plans.
The first thing to note is the price he puts on life. More babies means an additional $2.74 the government has to spend. The second thing is the phrase “family planning.” That would also include abortions, since the whole point is to have fewer people. The third thing is that if we increase the rate of abortion and contraception by making it this much more accessible, thereby reducing the number of young people, we have shrunk the pool of potential tax payers to subsidize all this government-granted paradise. I mean, if costs are so important, that means sources of revenue to pay those costs are vital, so we need to consider that part, too.
He doesn’t seem to think that far ahead though. But he continues…
And of course birth control isn’t just a women’s issue: men can use contraceptives too, and unwanted pregnancies affect not only mothers but also fathers.
Except, Nick, the age of increased contraception and abortion has seen a stunning increase in the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and single mothers. The increase of contraception and abortion have, not coincidentally, tracked with the rise of a really distorted view of feminism that dictates to all that women don’t need men and are, in fact, the same as men. So what’s a man to do? Women don’t need him for anything but conjugal fun, why should he stick around for anything else? Like raising the kid? Especially if he wanted to abort the thing. Or, conversely, what if he wanted to keep it but she decided to abort? Can he stop her? Hardly. So again, what has the prevalence of contraception done to sticking around and being a dad? Aborted it, or at least placed a barrier in the way, really.
He meanders on for a while and concludes with,
In this case, we should make a good-faith effort to avoid offending Catholic bishops who passionately oppose birth control. I’m glad that Obama sought a compromise. But let’s remember that there are also other interests at stake. If we have to choose between bishops’ sensibilities and women’s health, our national priority must be the female half of our population.
Nick, first, this offends so many more than just the bishops, and even if the number were smaller the Constitution was written with things like the Electoral College specifically to protect out-of-favor minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Democracy is two wolves and a chicken deciding what to have for lunch.
Second, by the Administration’s own careful wording this was not a “compromise,” but an “accommodation,” and it didn’t actually change anything except which part of the accounting ledger the expense would be recorded—the offensive mandate is unaffected.
Third, no one is denied contraceptives or such services in this country. What we object to in this case is being forced to subsidize them.
If standing up for what we believe offends a few sensibilities among the sterile elite, well, sorry.