Although a vast majority of Americans agree that subsidized birth control is a good thing for the country’s health and economic woes, far-Right social conservatives just won’t have it.
Instead, they are offering it up as the latest examples of some far-fetched liberal agenda population control program; placing it as tantamount to the latest “high government spending” and government-sponsored abortion programs.
According to a recent recommendation from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), “health insurers should pay for a range of services for women at no cost, including birth control, counseling on sexually transmitted diseases, and AIDS screening.”
With all the hoopla over de-funding Planned Parenthood and the radical-Right laying claim to real, homegrown Christian-American “values”, this comes as no surprise. Even though a whopping 78% of Americans support government-subsidized birth control, the sad truth is that we live in a country where a backward minority of ignorant, religious and socially/culturally inept fanatics – communities who happily reside in a fictional, mental picture set back in a rose-colored version of 1950s America – have the power to dictate the country’s social agenda.
Lashing out like children, the radical Right is lambasting IOM’s recommendation as yet another sinister leftist plot – and wouldn’t you know it, Fox News is leading the charge.
According to Fox News host Greg Gutfield, subsidized birth control is a means of eradication of the poorest of the poor in this country.
“If you’re talking about free birth control, who’s going to use free birth control?” asked Gutfield of his audience. “The people who can’t afford it. So the left has figured out a way to eradicate the poor, and it’s by eradicating the poor!” (video below)
In a separate segment, Gutfield asserted that birth control simply would not be necessary if women would “just stop having irresponsible sex.”
Furthering the narrative by consulting only those who share their view, Heather Childers of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom positioned the story as being about whether the government should be involved in women’s reproductive health – carefully sidestepping the notion of a government-sanctioned abortion ban.
Childers also discussed the IOM recommendation with Sandy Rios – president of Family-PAC Federal (what ever happened to “Fair and Balanced”?) – who denounced IOM recommendation supporter Dr. Cathleen London by calling her “a disgrace to our gender” and labeling her as “a true feminist who makes no sense.”
According to Rios, government should simply “Let women stop having irresponsible sex. […] Let’s stop making excuses and providing a way to get women out of trouble when they should be responsible in their behavior.”
Agreeing with the sentiment, Childers added that it’s “not too much to ask for everyone to stop having irresponsible sex.”
Neither women thought to address the fact that currently 15.3 million women in the U.S. responsibly employ some form of hormonal birth control in an effort to prevent unwanted or unintended pregnancies.
Nor did they address the full context of IOM’s recommendation, which included screening for gestational diabetes, HPV testing as part of cervical cancer screening for women over 30, counseling on STDs including HIV, lactation and breast-feeding training, screening and counseling to detect and prevent interpersonal and domestic violence and annual well-woman preventive care visits.
As health care costs continue to rise and economic woes pile upon the poorest in the country (who are most at-risk regarding unwanted pregnancies, birth defects and other sexually-related issues), proper and thorough distribution of adequate contraception as well as a viable level of sexual education would improve women’s health while greatly reducing the amount of (expensive) abortions that are typically far too costly for low-income women.
But since the idea of “abstinence only” and regressive sexual therapies tend to sit better with the Fox News crowd (when convenient, of course) no level of responsibility would be enough.