Now the Washington Post is singing my song. I have been advocating contraception as the best tool to cut poverty my entire adult life. Somehow, this message always gets diluted into advocacy for sexual empowerment or irresponsible sexual conduct. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Conservatives: Yes. You. The very thing you eschew and spend so much time fighting might just be the answer to your prayers. Contraception leads to less welfare, less abortion, less ignorance, less incarceration. The list goes on.

Contraception has to be cheap, reliable and easily assessable to those who use it. Think about this when you want to defund Planned Parenthood and other places that provide contraception and other medical services without judgement and without asking too many questions.

In the long run, it will be money in your pocket.

33 thoughts on “Contraception: the best tool for cutting poverty

  1. Steve Thomas

    I don’t agree with your characterization that conservatives “eschew” contraceptives. I think you are confusing conservatives with devote Roman Catholics, who “eschew” both contraceptives AND abortion, but are quite liberal on other social issues, such as gun control, and the death penalty.

    I have no issue with contraception in general, or some federal funding of them through medicaid reimbursement to clinics that do not perform abortions. I also oppose making it mandatory for clinics to provide contraceptives, in order to receive reimbursement for other non-abortion related health services.

    1. If I didn’t say “some conservatives” then I should have.

      How do you feel about Title X in general?

      I have no problem with contraception and abortion services being at the same place. As for contraception being mandatory for Medicaid reimbursement…hmmmmm….no. Obviously a podiatrist or an orthopedist isn’t going to be in the contraception business even though he/she might see both medicare and Medicaid patients. However, for reproductive services…yea…contraception should be mandatory. I must be overlooking something. Can you give me a specific?

      Most of the Catholics I know who are what I would call “fundamentalist” hate abortion and contraception and love the death penalty and their guns.

      The ones you describe are more north of here (or transplants)

      Back to contraception–I think many born again Christians simply don’t talk about it. I do know though that some of them are the first to get up in arms over any suggestion that it be made available in a public venue. Some absolutely don’t want their kids to have it.

      Now, let’s contrast them to some old perceived heathen like me….I wouldn’t be wild about my kid being sexually active at 15 or 16 for any number of reasons. However, I would want them to be using contraception if that’s the way they roll. I mean let’s not compound the problem.

      I also understand parents’ concern about their kids having contraception and that leading to more permissive behavior. (My mother would have called it having “a license to steal.”) I will also confess to the fact that fear of pregnancy kept me on the sort of straight and narrow for a long time….long enough to get an education and to be able to support myself if need be. Do I think that is realistic in today’s times? No.

      My children, or at least my daughter always accuses me of trying to slut shame women (like Molly Cyrus). Well….yea. Guilty. I do like her music though. She didn’t catch me slut shaming Lady GaGa. In the immortal words of that great poet of the 60’s, bob Dylan, The Times they are A’Changing.

  2. Pat.Herve

    The current policy of every policy (including medicaid) providing contraception without cost – should – help reduce unwanted pregnancies. It is about time that the stigma be taken away from pre-marital sex and we ‘grow up’ and recognize that both men and woman have sex = they have sex and do not want a pregnancy.

  3. Steve Thomas

    @Pat.Herve
    Pat, no argument here.

  4. Jackson Bills

    “Conservatives: Yes. You. The very thing you eschew and spend so much time fighting might just be the answer to your prayers.” – conservatives fight contraception? That’s news to me.

    1. Ah, actually I meant collectively: mandated contraception in Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, sex education, Medicaid covering the bill.

  5. Steve Thomas

    @Moon-howler

    In general, I don’t oppose Title X, as I do see societal value in those who receive public assistance, also having access to low-cost contraception. Where I draw the line is when it is offered to minors, without parental consent, as was the recent documented case of Seattle public schools arranging for 12 year old girls to get medicaid funded IUD’s, without parental consent. This is why many conservatives, especially Christians, get “all up in arms”. They see the state as trying to supplant the parent with regard to authority, and responsibility.

    1. You know, I respect what you are saying, Steve. Not all minors have involved parents. Some kids have been left to raise themselves. I think it is acceptable for those children to have contraception. It beats the alternative. In this case, (Seattle) I would hope that a social worker was involved as in parentis loco. Also, what do we do about kids who simply cannot tell their parents they are sexually active?

      Me, I would want to know but if my kid absolutely didn’t feel like they could talk to me, for whatever reason, I would rather them not get pregnant. It’s a hard call.

  6. middleman

    61 percent of Americans oppose defunding PP. The numbers have actually gotten better since July. Eliminating PP would INCREASE abortion.

    As with numerous other issues, a small group of congressional backbenchers are subverting democracy.

  7. Steve Thomas

    @Moon-howler
    “Not all minors have involved parents. Some kids have been left to raise themselves. I think it is acceptable for those children to have contraception. It beats the alternative. In this case, (Seattle) I would hope that a social worker was involved as in parentis loco.”

    If there hasn’t been any due-process for the establishment of “in loco parentis” status, ie. a judge has established some agent of the state to act as a parent for the minor child, this is an assault on parental rights. A kid not wanting to tell their parents they are sexually active doesn’t cut it. I gotta say I think your Mom was right on the money: a license to steal.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3148807/Seattle-high-school-sparks-outrage-policy-allows-IUD-contraceptives-girls-young-ELEVEN-without-seeking-permission-parents.html

    1. I was 21 when it was said to me. Different generation. I resented her implications.

      I think social workers have an ethical responsibility when parents aren’t parenting. I have seen a lot of non parenting in my life and the kids are at terrible risk.

      Some parents need their authority usurped because they aren’t being parents.

  8. Steve Thomas

    Moon-howler :
    Ah, actually I meant collectively: mandated contraception in Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, sex education, Medicaid covering the bill.

    Why don’t you look at the individual arguments to each of the examples you cite, rather than paint with such a broad brush. You just might see some merit in their arguments:

    Mandated Contraception: Opposed in cases where the religious values of the employer don’t allow for contraception (Hobby Lobby, Little Sisters of the Poor). Opposed by individuals forced to pay for plans that include “oral contraception” and other methods, when they are single males. Kinda like forcing a single female to buy a plan that includes prostate exams.

    Planned Parenthood: Most of the arguments are against abortion, and the offset funds this organization receives. Yes, I know, the Hyde amendment….income is income.

    Medicaid covering the bill: see the Seattle case.

    Sex Education: Some parents would rather handle that themselves, beyond the simple biology class on human reproduction. The problem with some (not all) of these sex-ed programs is they get into all kinds of sexual practices that many for religious, moral, or genuine psychological reasons believe deviant. Worse, some of these programs actually encourage kids to “explore their sexuality”, in direct contradiction to what their parents and churches are telling them. Also, while I think “abstinence only” classes have only a limited effect, many of these sex-ed programs don’t discuss the only, 100% effective method of contraception, and when they do, it’s “it’s unrealistic, turn to the chapter on sex-toys please”.

    1. Mandated contraception: I paid for prostate exams on my single policy every day I had it. We all pay for things we don’t use. I also paid for maternity coverage even though I never used a penny of it. (I was also on my husband’s policy) As for the Little Sisters and Hobby Lobby, I will never think that they are exempt. When you open your doors to the public, you gotta act like everyone else.

      Income is income…be damned. There are so many counter-arguments for that my temples are aching. the truth of it is that Planned Parenthood is seem as the great satan that encourages sexual promiscuity. It’s all part of the “nice girls don’t….” mentality that goes back a century or two.

      Sex education–I think it needs to cover the basics and leave the cucumbers at home. I do think that abstinence should be included as well as contraception…not a how to but whats available out there. I sat through a couple of the abstinence only classes that came through about 10 years ago. What a joke. A whole bunch of out of touch people playing stupid games while kids rolled their eyes.

    2. I left off …I am pretty familiar with all the reasoning. I just don’t agree with much of it. exception would be the Seattle case.

  9. Kelly_3406

    As a conservative, I have no problem with government funding of contraception and women’s health. I would like to see government funding limited to organizations that do NOT provide abortions, however.

    One thing that came out of the hearings yesterday is that PP does not provide mammograms. So it is not exactly the one-stop shop for women’s reproductive health that it hasbeen made out to be.

  10. punchak

    Just found out that Cecile Richards is the daughter of former
    Texas governor, Ann Richards. No wonder she´s tough.
    Ann Richards was “something else”!

  11. Censored bybvbl

    @Kelly_3406

    Mammograms usually are done by a radiologist. One gets a referral from a doc. I imagine it’s the same with PP – referrals to a radiologist and not something done on site.

  12. Pat.Herve

    Planned Parenthoods target audience is Young people who want to plan for a family. Mammograms are usually suggested for woman over 50, unless if there is family history or other indications. So, it does not bother me that they do not offer mammograms at many of their clinics.

  13. ed myers

    We can end most abortion tomorrow. Every child at age 11 (both boys and girls entry to middle school) would be given free long-term birth control as a prerequisite for attending a public school. Think of it as a vaccinations against abortion. People with objections to contraception would be allowed to opt out. The data on who used abortion services after this program implementation would be telling.

    1. Ed, I am smiling. How creative.

      Abortion vaccine. LOL

  14. Cargosquid

    Heh…

    It was conservatives that wanted standard contraceptive drugs sold over the counter. So much for being against contraceptives. PP opposed taking it off of prescription, as did Democrats.

    1. Do you have any documentation about what you just said, cargo? I sure don’t recall Democrats or Planned Parenthood opposing contraception going over the counter. Nor do I recall conservatives clamoring for it. Knowing my obsession with the subject, you would think I would remember.

  15. Cargosquid

    @ed myers
    “both boys and girls entry to middle school) would be given free long-term birth control ”

    I’m sorry…. did you invent a birth control for boys? Especially a long term version?

    1. He is allowed to invent male birth control in his abortion vaccine fantasy.

      Someone should. How hard would that be? On the other hand, who would trust a male to use it correctly?

      They would mix it up with the Viagra……sorry…couldn’t resist.

  16. Pat.Herve

    Cargosquid :
    Heh…
    It was conservatives that wanted standard contraceptive drugs sold over the counter. So much for being against contraceptives. PP opposed taking it off of prescription, as did Democrats.

    I am not sure that holds water – at least for the Dems – California (Oct 1, today) allows a Pharmacist to prescribe oral contraceptives and Oregon is allowing over the counter sales of oral contraceptives after Jan 1. These are two new laws in Dem states. It is the Pharma companies that have not moved forward with petitioning for an over the counter medication.

  17. ed myers

    @Cargo: Reversible vasectomy using lasers. In case the future reversible part fails it would be prudent to take enough semen samples for multiple fertilization. (Extra benefit, the sperm are young and healthy.)

    I’d be skittish about surgical procedures at this age but then I think fetuses before cerebral cortex development are not yet humanly conceived so early abortions aren’t a moral problem for me..it is just human tissue until it has the capacity to think. For those who see it as murder from the point of zygote forward perhaps the risk to teenager’s health to prevent fertilization is worth it just so millions of zygotes and fetuses aren’t needlessly created and then murdered.

  18. Cargosquid

    @ed myers
    Surgery on middle schoolers. Wow. You’re just “skittish” about it.

    Before cerebral cortex development…..hmmmm… to what stage? When do they become “able to think?”

    1. 35 seems to be the magic number… when people begin to think.

  19. Ed Myers

    We have surgical robots and if we are going to be doing millions of these procedures it could be a cheap and very safe out patient procedure if a machine did it…just like laser eye surgery, except simpler. No general anesthesia which is the biggest risk for a surgery.

    I propose this to test the anti-abortion proponents because if we are not willing to sacrifice some young boys to keep those zygotes from forming it challenges the rhetoric that the zygotes are human beings worthy of human rights. Also if men aren’t willing to take some risk to prevent abortion then they can’t demand that women have to take the risk of childbirth to prevent abortion.

  20. Ed Myers

    @Cargo, I’m comfortable with abortion for any reason prior to 20 weeks which is the beginning of rapid brain development. I don’t know when fetuses think but I know zygotes can’t so it is somewhere between fertilization and birth. We have CAT scan machines and I’m sure someone has determined when the cerebral cortex starts firing off brain waves. When that occurs I think the fetus should gain some human rights independent of the mother.

  21. Cargosquid

    @Ed Myers
    “if we are not willing to sacrifice some young boys”

    Really?

  22. Ed Myers

    Yes…to save all those fetuses and girls who would otherwise die!!! It would only be a few out of millions. We could set up a compensation fund like we do for vaccines. More boys would continue to die in sacrifice to the sport of football and we don’t compensate families at all for that.

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