The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday, August 1, that new regulations have been approved mandating that all health insurance policies must include contraception and voluntary sterilization at no cost to the patient. Since these new regulations cover any Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved birth control, we are now all complicit, to the largest degree yet, in committing abortions.
From ABC News:
The requirement applies to all forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration. That includes the pill, intrauterine devices, the so-called morning-after pill, and newer forms of long-acting implantable hormonal contraceptives that are becoming widely used in the rest of the industrialized world.
Both the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are considered abortifacients, substances or devices that interrupt the ability of the embryo to implant in the uterus. By that time, an embryo has already been created, so the contraceptive is now ending a human life.
Perhaps this is in keeping with the government’s view that pregnancy is a disease (otherwise, why cover medical costs for a benign condition), but since the HHS regulation mandates that there be no co-pay, all U.S. taxpayers are now paying for “free” birth control:
A government study last summer found that birth control use is virtually universal in the United States, according to a government study issued last summer. More than 90 million prescriptions for contraceptives were dispensed in 2009, according the market analysis firm INS health. Generic versions of the pill are available for as little as $9 a month. Still, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Many are among women using some form of contraception, and forgetting to take the pill is a major reason.
Notice that the expense of birth control, which is minimal for the individual, is not the reason for unplanned pregnancies, forgetting to take the pill is. I’m afraid the government can’t regulate procrastination. And then there’s this:
Although the new women’s preventive services will be free of any additional charge to patients, somebody will have to pay. The cost will be spread among other people with health insurance, resulting in slightly higher premiums.
Higher premiums so that we can all help eliminate babies.
So, for me, the question becomes Why? Why does the federal government want to take on the cost and controversy of providing contraception prescriptions (as well as sterilization surgery) to millions of women? I can think of three reasons right away, although I’m sure there are more.
Increased dependence: Once we get used to the government paying for something, it becomes our “right” to acquire it. Once contraception seems to be “free” (along with breastfeeding counseling and supplies, among other services), it will be difficult to eliminate as a government program later on. So more expenses, more taxes, more dependence on the government to provide for the individual, and that translates into more votes.
Infantilization of women: This is perhaps a subset of the increased dependence but is striking enough to consider on its own. With this policy, women are presented as unable, without the government’s help, to manage their own reproductive choices. These regulations present them as victims of their own bodies–from pregnancy to breastfeeding, women need government oversight.
Our culture of death: I keep going back to something Rachel Jankovic wrote:
Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.
The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law. . .
And the last sentence keeps running over and over again in my mind: “When abortion was legalized, we wrote [where children rank in our society and our lives] into law.” I don’t think there’s any greater indictment of our culture than these words. Those whom we should be protecting and nurturing, we are willfully killing, and we are all bearing the costs.