To conceive or not to conceive

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

The GOP’s anti-healthcare bill has been dropped for lack of votes. It was the Democrat’s fault according to the leader of the pack.

It really wasn’t. It was outright rebellion from within; but let’s hear it for the Democrats anyway, for none of them were interested in voting for it.

And let’s give a hand to the couple of turncoat Republican senators who at the last minute decided not to ignore their constituents any longer. Beltway rumor has it that they may be the first of many traitors to the idea that any Trumpcare bill would actually care about those who suffer for lack of health care.

We still have an affordable care system. It is flawed, as we have been told oh so many times by those who fail to mention that it was because of their drilling it into the American public that they didn’t like it that the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare took on a bad rep – too much bad Republican propaganda and a total unwillingness on their part to work with President Obama on anything, including refining the ACA through Congressional work.

The ACA was a step in the right direction of healthcare for everyone, not just the privileged. We are far from catching up to the rest of the industrial world we think we’re better than, but we are at least in the real world and trying to become educated on caring for everyone who needs it.

This still intact healthcare system includes among other things funding for birth control. Birth control is maligned by those who continue to think that women need to be told what to do. But birth control is one of those sensible human decisions that in the 20th century became handy and affordable. Birth control has a major effect on a couple’s life. The decidedly positive consequences include fewer unwanted children, fewer pregnant teenagers, fewer high school dropouts, fewer unwed parents, fewer people with low-paying jobs because of lack of education, fewer abortions.

I thought the uninformed outrage about birth control was over and done with in the last century. The argument as I recall had something to do with the teaching of and means to birth control promoting sexual activity between teenagers and otherwise unwed folks. This argument indicated a lack of knowledge of history and the human being’s purpose on this planet, which is to reproduce our species. History proves we’re quite good at it. With birth control, we can at least have a chance at controlling the number of births to some extent, an important issue simply because we’re approaching a full house here on the planet; an important issue for simple decency – for allowing the rights of an individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness via making one’s own decisions.

Opponents of birth control in the past used another argument as well – the thwarting of the God-given seed and egg becoming a baby. Hogwash is about the only argument I can give to that.

The Republicans remain faithful to their attack on women, however, despite the setback of their unaffordable, unworkable, uncharitable, unworthy Unhealthy Care Act. A House appropriations subcommittee is proposing to defund Title X, the $286 million family planning program within the Department of Health and Human Services. The newly appointed-by-the-President boss of family planning is Teresa Manning, a woman who is against birth control as a means of family planning. She said in an NPR interview that “…the incidence of contraception and the incidence of abortion go up, hand in hand.” This is an example of “fake news,” “alternative facts” or just plain lying. The country is experiencing the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years and a historic low for teen pregnancy.

I wonder if Mz Manning has ever used the pill.

The House subcommittee was asked by the Administration to defund high school sex education and fund abstinence-only “education” and to cut out all our funding in international family planning. The Department of Human Services is going to have to change its name to the Department of Unhealthy Inhuman Service.

Or maybe the anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive folks in this particular bureaucracy will rename it the Department of Conception, because they are also revising contraceptive coverage by employers in their employee health insurance; the boss will no longer have to include insurance for family planning help under what will be called the “interim final rule,” a creepy-sounding rule that brings to mind the similar creepy-sounding “Final Solution”.

Most of us females are not of a mind to go backwards, despite what the Mz Manning minons and her misogynist cronies try to pull over on us. The battle continues.

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