It is time to end the charade.
Backdoor universal access via insurance coverage to birth control for those 18 and older is a way of avoiding the real debate.
By decreeing that private insurance has to provide birth control as if it was a preventative treatment for some illness, the government essentially has determined pregnancy is no different than a preventative disease.
We’ve wasted too much emotion on debating whether the government should be foisting birth control on private sector - religious or secular - employers through insurance coverage they offer simply because it avoids talking about what should be the government’s concern. Simply put, is it government’s concern and function to help reduce the chance of unwanted pregnancies because of the burden they could place on society as a whole by competing for scarce tax dollars?
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs $12,500 a year for a typical Middle Class couple to raise a child. What is the cost of raising a child that a parent cannot afford to support?
Isn’t that one of the biggest gripes of many people that tax dollars are going to cover the long-term cost of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies? And don’t we bemoan the loss of human dignity that comes when the product of an unwanted pregnancy is neglected and abused?
Such a debate sounds all too clinical. But in the end, isn’t that the major reason that justifies government intervention much like in China where the government’s goal is to limit pregnancies, period?
Yes, it skirts the messy emotional details of the fact we are talking about conception that leads to walking, talking and breathing human beings. But by debating it in such a manner it might just tone down the cultural war, lower costs, reduce government spending, and make it possible for women either poor or otherwise to access birth control.
In such a case, the only viable option for those that want government intervention to make birth control available universally is to do it by having government provide it. if it sounds like the government would get to the same point but using a different route, you are absolutely right.
Such an approach is much more honest and straightforward instead of trying to ram an insurance requirement down the throats of those religious-based employers that find funding such devices and pills through insurance premiums they are forced to pay as morally, spiritually and ethically corrupt.
It also would accomplish one other important thing. It would preserve the integrity of the one document that one hopes those employed in government view as the most sacred piece of paper in the secular world - the Constitution of the United States.
This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 209-249-3519.