Sunday, March 4, 2012

MS. FLUKE AND FUNDING BIRTH CONTROL


In my opinion, this is not an issue about Ms. Fluke. Nor is it an issue about sex and abstinence. It is a social issue unlike many other social issues. For most social issues, such as helping poor people, giving food stamps, providing low cost housing, providing medical treatment, we ask ourselves if we are our brother's keeper? We have seen the Republican candidates all take the position that they conclude that we are not our brother's keeper and they would like to do away with or minimize the help to the disadvantaged. I am from the other side and believe that we are our brother's keeper and would like to see all of these programs flourish, but monitored to remove abuse.
Still, the concept of paying for birth control falls outside of the normal social issue of helping the disadvantaged. There is no question that unwanted births in this country cost hundreds of times more than would be the cost of free contraception. The Republicans want to make this a moral issue, however, it is a social and economic one. For every birth that could have been prevented with free birth control, we save on pre-natal care, doctors and hospital costs for giving birth, and all of the years the mother will probably be on welfare and funding pediatric care. The cost of free birth control is peanuts compared to the savings.
The savings are greater if you add to it having less abortions, the extra cost of the foster parent program, the lower productivity of the single parent, the lower productivity potential of the married parent, the overpopulation cost to the planet, the higher propensity of being high school dropouts fostering even more people on welfare in the next generation. I don't know if there has been quantification, but I assume the savings are enormous.
Politicians have to couch this program as being a medical issue because it is not politically correct to discuss it from the view that people should be more responsible, avoid outside of marriage child birth and avoiding children one can ill afford. It is necessary that there be birth control, a sort of social engineering, to the economic and social well being of the country.

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