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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Going Broke To Pay For Birth Control? Now That's Screwy

A Georgetown Law School student shamelessly declared before a House subcommittee today that the approximate $3,000 cost of birth control during her law school tenure threatens to bankrupt her.  (Oh, but the tuition won't?)

This is the outgrowth of President Obama's recent mandate that religious institutions cover the cost of birth control for female employees.  Now we have people asserting the right to have other people pay for them to avoid the possible consequence of an unwanted pregnancy from sex.

Some Democrats supporting the contraceptive mandate are framing this as a health issue.  This is misleading, if not outright deceptive and insultingly so.

One can avoid the unwanted consequences -- i.e., pregnancy -- of not having or using contraceptives; one merely only avoid having sex. Modern science has yet to allow women to spontaneously conceive. As unpleasant or annoying as it may be, abstinence is an option.  No one is forcing these women to have sex, although from some rhetoric one would be excused for believing these women just can't help themselves. (There is another hidden agenda here and it's all about economic power and some sort of gender war.)

But contraceptives should not -- not ever -- be equated with a health issue. Using contraceptives and having sex are choices. Having cancer is not a choice.  Now there's a health issue, a life-and-death issue at that.

The implication from the mandate supporters leads to the conclusion that there is an unfettered -- and perhaps even Constitutional -- right to have sex, free from having to take responsibility for it.  This means not having to pay for it -- and the right to impose upon others (that means, men) the obligation to pay for it instead.

What's next? 

What about subsidizing sex aids and other enhancements that increase the pleasure of participants? Why should women have to have a substandard experience?  Let's subsidize vibrators, anal beads and lubricant.  Isn't there a right to a super orgasm?

By the way, what other obligations might men have?  Forget the risk of a fake rape claim; now the man might get prosecuted if the woman feels humiliation because her experience was less than satisfactory.

As a matter of fact, we should have the government guarantee that every lonely woman gets a hookup of her own choosing.  Beefcake for everyone!  (Ah, but only for the ladies; oh, wait, I hear the gay rights lobby complaining now.  Beefcake for every woman and gay man; straight men, wait for the check.)  Next, we'll have government subsidized strip clubs, porn and swingers' clubs.  After all, Griswold v. Connecticut now holds that the government can't go into the bedroom, so when the bedroom is everything, it's sex whenever and wherever you want -- and other people will pick up the tab. 

Maybe the government should get into the business of guaranteeing a happy long term relationship for every woman -- and gay man -- terminable at her/his own choosing.  Okay now, we'll have a new range of shotgun weddings (er, civil unions, or just hookups -- whatever!).   Remember, gents, to perform, be polite, and don't ever complain about the check.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer and satirist.  Sadly, the issue underlying this article -- the serious and likely unconstitutional infringement upon the core constitutional right of religious freedom by the government mandate that religious institutions provide a full subsidy for contraception to employees enrolled in their health insurance plans, in contravention of long-established religious doctrine -- is not satire.

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