A Few More Points on the Birth Control Debate

I apologize for obsessing about this issue, but people continue to piss me off:

1) Sob stories about your polycystic ovarian syndrome or your endometriosis are irrelevant. Sorry, but that’s the truth. The Catholic Church already allows for coverage of contraceptive medications when grave medical need can be demonstrated. As section 15 of Humanae Vitae reads:

On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from — provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever. (19)

If Sebelius had said, “We’re going to mandate that all insurance companies cover contraception when it’s being used to treat a defined, grave medical condition,” that would be one thing. But the HHS mandate is a blanket mandate that covers the use of all contraceptive devices and medications no matter their price or the reasons for their use. So once again, what the left is really arguing is that a wholly invented right to a sex life without consequences should trump the First Amendment — and there’s so much that’s wrong with this position that I don’t even know where to begin.

2) You guys hate big corporations, right? So why are you backing a policy that will undeniably benefit the supposedly eeeeeevil pharmaceutical industry? As Peter Schweizer points out in the Daily Beast:

Forget for a minute the religious question and look at who wins big here: Big Pharma. This mandate is not really about condoms or generic versions of “the pill,” which are available free or cheap in lots of places. This is about brand-name birth control drugs and other devices that some consumers swear off because they are too expensive. The Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requires health-insurance companies provide contraceptive coverage for all “FDA approved contraceptive methods.” It does not insist on generics. And it does not offer any cost containment.

What’s more, the mandate prevents health-insurance companies from having copays or deductibles for the benefit. This is the perfect set up for Big Pharma. Since the drugs will be paid for by a third party (insurance companies, who will pass the cost on to employers and the rest of us), the consumer won’t worry about the price. Expensive brand names will no doubt see demand rise.

And when more people start buying the pricey pills, guess who’s going to make out like a bandit? The CEO of Pfizer, for one.

3) The morality – or immorality – of an action does not depend on the size of your audience. Throwing around words like “prostitute” or “c*nt” when you’re discussing a female opponent is always wrong whether you are Rush Limbaugh (whose listeners number in the millions) or Bill Maher (whose fan base is decidedly limited). If you are trying to rationalize your double-standard with regards to the treatment of politically active women by citing the reach of Limbaugh’s media empire, you are a tool, and I have no respect for you.

And now I’m finished — for today, at least. We’ll see if people continue to behave like idiots tomorrow.

Actually, one last thing: A few years ago, my rheumatologist decided to put me on Humira. At the time, my health insurance did not cover this particular medication, and if I had paid for it out-of-pocket, it would’ve cost me more than $1000 per month. So Mom and I shopped around. We contacted the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Humira and signed up for their Patient Assistance Program. For the next year, I was mailed my biweekly doses free of charge.

Now why am I sharing this story? Because it’s yet another reason why I respond to the complaints regarding the cost of birth control with a distinct lack of sympathy. As with Humira, there are assistance programs out there for people who can’t afford their contraception. If you can’t be arsed to look those up, that’s not my problem.

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