I really can’t take it any more. I can’t take the liars and hucksters trying to frame things the way they are with a straight face. The simple fact is this: if you’re argument that the government is trying to ban birth control, you are a liar. End of story. Whether you’re a liar because you’re not fully informed (most likely) or you’re a liar because you’re politically motivated (equally likely) is immaterial, but you are a liar. The more you repeat the lie, the more you’re a liar.
Let’s look at the facts.
Birth control is not a right.
Firstly, let’s understand that birth control, like everything else, is not a right. A right is something bestowed upon you for existing that costs no one around you for you to have. Your right to free speech, free association (liberty), freedom of worship; none of those impose a societal burden. You can exercise your right to free speech until you’re blue in the face and nowhere in that time is an obligation created for another party. By those standards (in other words, the standards of common sense), birth control is not, in fact, a right. If you are entitled to birth control as a right, someone has to provide it for you. That puts an obligation on the provider of birth control, therefore it is not a right, but a liberally allowed privilege.
In future paragraphs, I may refer to a “right to birth control” as that’s what it’s being called, but it’s important to recognize what an actual right is for the purposes of this discussion.
No one is trying to “end” birth control.
This has not a single grain of truth to it at all, but yet I’ve seen this one repeated numerous times. It’s become a doctrine of truth among the uterazzi (writers with uteruses) that the big bad government (or at least elements therein) are trying to end your right to birth control.
The debate about birth control is not now, nor has it ever been, about “ending” it for anyone. The debate is who should pay for it. People with a brain in their head realize that you have all the rights in the world to have sex with another consenting adult that you want to, but if you make that choice who should pay for it? You. That simple. No one has argued otherwise.
But right wing male zealots want to stop insurance from covering it!
Nope. Another lie.
To understand this one, one has to have a cursory understanding of health insurance, something most people don’t because they don’t really pay for it (i.e.: they get it from another source and they just use it without thinking about it) and what a mandate is.
A mandate is something an insurance company has to cover. In some states, the total number of “mandates” can reach as high as a few thousand. That means (for example) that every insurance policy given to every customer of an insurance company has to cover breast cancer screenings, pregnancy care, prenatal vitamins, etc. “That sounds fine,” you say. Sure, if you’re a woman.
What if you’re a single gay male? Chances are you won’t be needing prenatal care any time in your life.
Clearly the idea of insurance is to pool health risks and have the premiums of that group pay for the care of those who need treatments for said risks, but at what point does that become burdensome on those that will never need that care?
Now let’s take it a step further. Imagine if, instead of a state mandate, you now had a federal mandate that all insurers cover something with zero copay. At first, you jump for joy because you realize that means free, not realizing that they money has to come from somewhere on these increased mandates, so where does the money come from? A rise in your premiums.
Welcome to the Obamacare birth control mandate, which now states that your insurance policy must cover birth control (not a health necessity by any means except in rare cases where the pills are used to treat another condition) with zero deductible.
So what’s the problem?
Well, the problem is that the mandate means insurance companies must provide free unlimited birth control pills as part of their coverage. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?
What if you’re the Catholic Church? See, the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in birth control or abortion, but the Obamacare mandate originally made no distinction and there was no opt out, so it was illegal for, say, a Catholic Hospital’s employees to have a health care policy from their employer that didn’t cover birth control. Whether or not you’re the biggest proponent of birth control on earth, you can clearly see the conflict. Instead of allowing companies to pick and choose the plan and coverage they offer their employees, the government has stepped in and said “you must offer this to all employees irrespective of your beliefs.”
You still don’t think it’s that big of a deal, and most likely because you heard about this compromise that President Obama put into place. “Those employers can opt out!” you say with smug self-assurance that would make Keith Olbermann weep.
That’s not what the compromise said, and since you didn’t bother to read it or understand it, let me educate you.
What if the employer is the actual Catholic Church itself? “They can opt out!” you say, with the gusto of a thousand good liberal activists. “It’s in the compromise! Non issue!”
Here’s the problem. The compromise did not only say that the church could just not offer birth control. What it said was that organizations opposed to birth control could opt out of offering them from their plans.
“See? They can opt out!” you say, smugly assured you’ve won the point.
The compromise also said that if a company opts out, the insurance company itself must offer that opted-out item to policyholders directly.
“So there you go!” you say, thinking you’ve heard it all because you didn’t do your research. “They get the coverage, the Church doesn’t provide it, and that’s that.”
The problem is that the Catholic Church is self-insured, meaning it is the insurance company. Translation: The church wouldn’t include coverage for birth control in its policy. By doing so, it would then have to offer birth control coverage to employees birth control to fulfill the obligations set forth in the compromise.
To simplify: I don’t have to offer you A as your employer, but I do have to offer A to you as your insurance company.
If you don’t see the problem with that, you’re grossly missing the point and I don’t think I can help you.
That doesn’t change the fact that Rick Santorum thinks that States can ban contraception.
The funny thing about that is that they absolutely 100% can, and there’s nothing you can do about it. States do have the power to regulate or outright ban contraception if they were so inclined. Santorum never said he would ban contraception, but he did say that states have the right to do so. Since the Constitution (that pesky document that for most “activists” only has a commerce clause and a 14th amendment) doesn’t talk about birth control, the power to regulate it lies with the states (the 10th Amendment). No state would be dumb enough to ban birth control, but since we’re only talking theory, theoretically, they could. It wouldn’t be popular (or politically expedient) but they certainly could.
None of this addresses the issue of banning birth control; there’s clearly an effort to ban birth control going on.
What’s funny about that argument, and I’ve heard it a lot, is that it’s oversimplified to the point of not being true. The argument isn’t over banning birth control. It never was. It’s over who should pay for it and if the federal government should be mandating it be covered with no copay and while it’s easy to get caught up in the “they wanna take my birth control away!” rhetoric, there’s no evidence in reality that that’s the case.
What is being argued is simple.
1. Sex is not necessary for survival, therefore birth control is not necessary for your health. Sex is a voluntary decision and birth control should be paid for by the person choosing to have sex.
2. If an employer has a moral belief that birth control is wrong, they should have the right to decide the coverage offered to its employees, not the state and not the federal government.
3. If the employer self-insures, the government should have no place in defining what coverage they provide.
4. Even if everything is banned by employers and the coverage is terrible, there are other options for health insurance where people can make choices (see? This is a pro-choice argument!) to get coverage that better fits their needs. In fact, if you supported Obamacare, you should be thrilled that this is happening because people can shop (soon) in the health insurance exchanges that were one of the keystones of the administration’s policy.
That’s that. Nothing more nothing less. The problem with the pro-birth control crowd is that they’ve grossly misunderstood the issue to the point where their arguments are no longer valid because they’re not based in reality. It’s sad that it’s come to this, but their argument is, essentially, that if someone doesn’t want the government to do something, they don’t want it done. That’s clearly not the case, but what is the case is that this issue is most amusing in one of its biggest ironies.
The people that are arguing for this have, mostly, been arguing for years that the government should stay out of their bedrooms and out of their uteruses. Well, when people want to get out of their bedrooms and uteruses, they yell and scream and complain. I would love to get out of your bedroom and uterus. All I ask is that you let me and not force me to pay for the things you decided to do in your bedroom with your uterus.
It’s that simple.
The uterazzi want you to believe that there is some imaginary assault on birth control happening. There isn’t. There wasn’t. There won’t be.
Anyone arguing otherwise is simply lying, and they deserve to be called out for it.