The New York Times has put up a pro-con roundtable on the wisdom of taking money from everyone at gunpoint to pay for government to distribute long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC), following its rather breathless coverage of Colorado’s experiment with the same. Responding to this new programming, brought to you courtesy of the sexual revolution, requires conservatives to either act like the cold-hearted, economics-only cost-benefit utilitarians the Left likes to paint us as, or to bring forth a full-throated defense of the human person as an intrinsically valuable, community-embedded, and wholly sacred being, atop the also-eternal case for limited government.
Guess which one I’m going for, although taking up the job feels kind of like being the best friend and roommate of a party-hearty girl who upchucks her innards out night after night but just won’t lay off the booze. Okay, I guess I’ll hold your hair and even clean up the vomit sometimes, but I’m also going to start giving you some straight talk, because this is ridiculous. And no way am I paying for your habit.
Let’s understand things clearly. We have a leading U.S. publication paternalistically implying that women cannot be trusted to responsibly manage our own bodies, dreams, and impulses, so we poor little impregnated patsies need The Man to come in and preemptively spay us or retroactively destroy our preborn children for what he thinks is our own good? What an empowering worldview! Doesn’t it just make you glad to be a woman? Doesn’t it just make you love your sex daddy? We’re so progressive and advanced in the twenty-first century!
Or maybe it makes you feel that American women have Stockholm Syndrome. Maybe we’re all Patty Hearsts captured and exploited by the feminist militia, deluded into believing that subjugating ourselves to sex slavery is really in our best interests. After all, don’t we just love having utterly unfulfilling sex with totally random guys who are laughing their asses off—or, worse, not even thinking about us—after having used us like a breathing sex toy whenever they get the urge? It’s so totally awesome to have machines (and the men wielding them) rape our bodies while scraping out our murdered children, or to have anti-fertility drugs sterilize us and force us to deal with painful and life-altering side effects such as heavier periods, depression, breast pain, uterus perforation, blood clotting, breast cancer, and other super-great life experiences. Needless suffering is the price we’re willing to pay to sexually please men who hardly bother to learn our names. What a deal!
Human Haters Measure Us In Money
Sorry, had to let off a little steam there. Now I’m going to get into the hard-headed calculus. Obviously, our culture’s heart is too hard to hear the men, women, and children crying alone in the night because they know nobody loves them enough to promise them lifelong fidelity. The human heart craves the romance that blooms when fed grand concepts such as loyalty, sacrifice, honor, and endurance; human parasites laugh at this craving.
It’s fitting, then, to see Guttmacher Institute contributor to the Times roundtable touting all the “savings” one gets by snuffing human life. She pretends that 2.2 million pregnancies “avoided” in 2010 resulted in $3.6 billion in taxpayer savings. Why? Oh, right, because a welfare state turns people into economic units, some of whom consume more than they contribute (at least, in dollars and cents; who can put a price on the feelings of adoration and elation a newborn gives his momma?). Further, her calculation does not account for moral hazard, which means that when you subsidize something such as extramarital sex and fatherless babies, and unnaturally cushion its natural consequences, you get more of it.
When people are not forced to subsidize others at gunpoint, but rather compelled to serve the poor through intrinsic motivations such as love and pity, charity can be win-win. In this arrangement, the giver and recipient both receive. Indeed, the giver may receive more, for he receives an enlarged spirit, while the recipient mostly receives material goods (although he, too, can have his spirit enlarged). But when government takes these opportunities to build character and social capital away from us by turning charity into a mandatory program, it eliminates all possibilities to mere economic transaction.
My family purse is impoverished to pay for others whom some distant overlord somewhere has deemed more deserving than us. It only deepens the blow that the people government may deem “worthy” in this case are precisely the opposite; that is, they are the ones who refuse to behave responsibly, while my husband and I are punished despite our objectively more moral and society-uplifting behavior (saving sex until marriage, keeping that marriage together, paying our own healthcare and childcare expenses, working hard to earn enough money to have piles of it taxed away, etc.). This is government rewarding the irresponsible and punishing the responsible. That’s called injustice.
Therefore, it’s most accurate to describe the welfare state as “lose-lose.” Our family, who does the subsidizing, loses both the money we worked for and the ability to choose to whom we will give it, and under what conditions. The recipients of our plundered money also lose, for they are required to do nothing beneficial for society in order to get it (in fact, they have to do things that objectively harm themselves and society), depriving them of the opportunity to better themselves and others. Subsidizing irresponsibility, like subsidizing anything, means you get more of it. Brilliant, my dear Watson. Brilliant.
A Person’s A Person, No Matter How Small
Also, let’s be real. It is by now clear that, despite promises from both Democrats and Republicans to the contrary and the Hyde Amendment explicitly banning this practice, taxpayers subsidize baby-killing. The money we are forced to send Planned Parenthood, among others, quite clearly sets that noble institution free to increase its human consumption. And it’s not just that our money supports doctor-induced abortions, the kind with scissors and forceps. Existing taxpayer money that pays for chemical contraception also pays for countless chemical abortions, given that the major chemical contraceptives include “fail-safes” that abort tiny fetuses, explains Dr. Donna Harrison.
The Pill, for example: “birth-control pills change the lining of the uterus, so that if an egg is released, and an embryo is formed, then implantation will be more difficult or impossible and the embryo will die.” Studies have shown that IUDs have the same child-killing effects: “In the presence of chronic inflammation caused by the IUD, implantation [of an embryo into the uterine wall] is difficult or impossible…IUDs have also been used as very effective ‘late’ emergency contraception, because if an IUD is inserted after an embryo implants, it can disrupt the implantation and cause the death of the embryo.” When a baby inside a woman using an IUD does manage to form, it is often damaged, Harrison writes.
So, in other words, mass implanting young women with IUDs may reduce their abortion rates, and their pregnancy rates, but at the very real and demonstrated cost of unknown numbers of chemical abortions, as well as damage to the children who survive the IUD’s chemical bath. So, besides increasing the abortions taxpayers are forced to pay for—and remember, seven in ten Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion—we have more dead humans and more disabled humans. How is that a win for these children and their mothers and fathers, let alone society?
No One Has a Right to Sex
Implicit in the raft of recent articles mournfully depicting lower-income women’s conflicted and depressed feelings and narrowed life choices upon discovering they’re pregnant and have no husband and father committed to them and their child is something another NYT contributor, student Bianca Brooks, made explicit: “Contraception gives poor young women the freedom to say ‘I have options.” Actually, both rich and poor women have the freedom to preserve their options without forcing other people to pay for their sexual activities. It’s called “not having sex.”
What Brooks is actually saying is that everybody should pay for the consequences when women sleep around. If we’re going to talk about personal liberty, mine and everyone else’s should matter here, too. Should I not be free from paying for the consequences of other people’s choices, given that I cannot control or even influence whether other women have sex a) take birth control they paid for themselves or b) provide any resulting children the rights to their own father and a life with him through marriage? How is it fair to force money from me to pay for other people’s good times?
This is like saying that everyone should be free to enjoy summer, so taxpayers need to provide free ice cream and bouncy houses to all. Sorry, ladies: Freedom ain’t freedom if it requires coercing everyone to participate in your bedroom choices. You want to be free, fine. Take responsibility for how you use your freedom. Otherwise, you’re not free, and neither am I. Forcing people to pay for your choices isn’t freedom, it’s exploitation.
Babies Are the Only Good Thing Going On Here
The big argument here is that we need to provide effective contraception because the costs to our welfare state are higher if poor women have babies that get dedicated tax-sponsored medical care, housing, food, daycare, and more. Sheah. When the “solution” to high costs is killing people instead of addressing those costs justly by requiring the responsible parties to fulfill their duties instead of fling them at strangers, you know our society is screwed up—literally and figuratively.
And it seems no one is willing to talk about the downsides of sponsoring a sexual free-for-all. So encouraging women to sleep around with no commitments from their sex partners is totally healthy, as long as these liaisons don’t result in a baby? If a baby happens during nonmarital sex, it’s about the only healthy thing going on! A baby is evidence that bodies are working the way they’re supposed to, even if the minds and spirits attached to those bodies are highly disordered. It’s not the baby that needs to be prevented, it’s the actions that lead to creating a baby without also delivering on his right to an intact family.
It’s also a mathematical certainty that increasing sex without increasing its exclusivity by demanding that people do it in marriage will result in more sexually transmitted diseases and likely more fatherless babies. When Saint Louis began handing out IUDs to poor, minority women, the Centers for Disease Control found that STDs increased notably. It also found that the likelihood these women would have surgical abortions increased, from one abortion per four pregnancies to one abortion for every pregnancy. Talk about victimizing women for men’s pleasure. The United States’ 19 million new STD cases every year are alone a health crisis, one that also costs taxpayers a massive amount. The number need not rise.
As for more fatherless babies, even though IUDs are about 99 percent effective, that’s still approximately one baby for every 100 users each year. Increase the number of sexual encounters, and the number of IUD users, and ipso facto you increase the number of babies born into bad circumstances.
Babies are not problems. Treating women like victims of their passions who cannot handle the truth about and responsibility for the consequences of their actions is at least condescending and at worst idiotic, and that’s a problem. Pushing women to implant themselves with chemicals that can kill their children, lead to the spread of more painful and infectious diseases, and suppress a rightful demand that the men who couple with them offer more than sperm, all while forcing their neighbors to pay for this misery, is not a solution, but a massive problem.