Friday, July 31, 2015

Meanwhile, in Colorado, a successful birth control program will not get government funding

This is the program, from a 2014 article:

Colorado's teen birth rate dropped 40% between 2009 and 2013, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced this week, in part due to a program that provides long-acting contraception to low-income women.
Colorado's Family Planning Initiative provided funding for 68 family clinics across the state to offer around 30,000 intrauterine devices and implants to young women at low or no cost.

The program was funded by a private donor.

Now you would think that the pro-lifers would love (love!) this program!  It had a large impact on unplanned pregnancies and most likely reduced abortions.  What's not to like?

But the Republican lawmakers  in Colorado refused to fund the program, despite the other benefits it would have conveyed:

Colorado officials say the program saved taxpayers $80 million in Medicaid costs they would have otherwise paid to care for new mothers and their children.
More than one explanation has been proposed for this odd decision (odd from the angle of any sane person). 

Some forced-birthers think intrauterine devices are abortions in themselves, some argue that the government shouldn't step between parents (the rightful owners of their children's sexuality) and their teenage daughters:

Colorado Family Action, which opposed state funding for the program, said using taxpayer dollars would have inappropriately inserted the government between children and their parents.
"We believe that offering contraceptives to teens, especially long-acting reversible contraceptives, while it may prevent pregnancy, does not help them understand the risks that come with sexual activities," CFA said in a statement. "We should not remove parents from the equation — equipping teens for safe sex without their parent's involvement bypasses this critical parental right and responsibility. Parents need to be the primary educator when it comes to sexual education and the primary decision about healthcare choices for their children. Lastly, Colorado taxpayers should not be paying for the 'Cadillac' of birth control for minor children."

Bolds are mine.

That quoted passage makes me almost wordless. 

And that's terrible for a blogger.  The only words I can find about that desire to really really punish teenagers so that they can viscerally understand the risks that come with sexual activities are words which describe the CFA as utter assholes, getting a hard-on from the suffering of others, getting confused about who is the divine power here and so on.

The 'Cadillac' of birth control programs?  Honestly?  Does that statement refer to the fact that IUDs have a very low failure rate as contraceptives?  Should minor children just use withdrawal and praying if they have sex?   Like an old banger birth control program?

A similar comment by one opponent of the program matters, too:

The bipartisan House proposal wanted $5 million in funding to give IUDs to teenage girls. Rep. Lori Saine opposed the House bill, saying the program encouraged more sex.
“So in this scenario, the government is subsidizing sex… because a woman typically doesn’t get birth control to hold hands and watch re-runs of ‘Gilligan’s Island.’”
How might one reconcile all that with the pro-life stance of most Colorado GOP lawmakers?  That teenagers should not have "subsidized" sex but if they do have it they should suffer in appropriate forms.  For teenage girls* that means giving birth to a child they may not be able to support and then having the taxpayers of Colorado support that child.

I'm sitting here pulling all my scales off.  No country in known history has completely managed to stop teenagers from having sex (even when the punishment is being stoned to death), and no abstinence-only program has shown any real effectiveness (except in putting a lot of money into the coffers of the abstinence organizations).

Stories like this one tell me what the real objectives of many pro-lifers are.
*Fascinating that it's mostly women and girls who are expected to suffer for having sex.  Men and boys may be caught by having to pay child maintenance but that's an unintended side-effect of the desire to police the sexual behavior of female people.