Pelosi: Contraceptives WILL Stimulate the Economy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually justifies spending hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives and family planning services as an attempt to “reduce costs.” What planet are these people from? As Rick Saunders points out in his excellent piece today, House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey justifies $600 million for PREPARATIONS for universal healthcare as a cost-cutting measure.

Spend mind-boggling amounts of money on non-stimulative programs and projects, and justify that spending by arguing that it will somehow reduce costs. These Democrats need a mental evaluation.

I could see it now. Rorschach ink-blot after Rorschach ink-blot: “That’s Karl Marx … yep, that’s Karl Marx again … ooh! ooh! It’s Karl Marx!”

So, in a continuing effort to keep score, a recap: We are in the process of arranging to borrow trillions of dollars from countries across the world so we can, in turn, spend that money on programs and other nonsense which not only would not stimulate our economy but, in the case of universal healthcare, could seriously hinder it. Furthermore, much of the money in the so-called “stimulus” package, the funds earmarked for FDR-like infrastructure projects, may not even be disbursed for another two years.

I don’t get it, people. I don’t get it at all.

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  1. Katherine says:

    Jeff,

    Very good point. I suppose I’d like there to be more money put into education about contraception so that people make more of a habit of using it. I still think that relying on condoms being cheap is problematic because they are not super-effective and some people are allergic. But you are absolutely right that MOST unwanted pregnancies are not due to those reasons…usually someone just didn’t use any contraception for no truly excusable reason. I still think it would be nice, though, for other forms of contraception to become more available.

    “Are we going to force inner city women and welfare mothers to take pills or get some sort of Norplant-like procedure or implant some sort of IUD? Of course not.”

    Agreed, “of course not.” But it’s not about forcing. It’s about giving people the option. If young women or inner city women decided they didn’t want to get pregnant for a while, they could choose to go through a temporary, reversible procedure to help them achieve that goal — if there is education about it and resources to do it. This means the woman doesn’t have to rely on her partner to use the condom properly (or to have a fresh one). It also provides her with protection against rape/coercive sex (not the rape itself, but one consequence of it.) Outright rape is not particularly common, but it’s extremely common (i.e. happens to MOST women) for women to have sex when they don’t want to, and for them to be talked out of using contraception (“it doesn’t FEEL as good for me!” — male partner). Cheaper/more contraceptive options for women at least protects them against pregnancies arising from such situations.

    So again, I totally see what you mean and I also feel that you totally see what I mean, but we still disagree. ;-)

  2. Katherine says:

    More on what I just said —

    I am trying to make a distinction between condoms and hormonal contraceptives that women use. I think there are several reasons that make the latter more effective than the former:

    1) Men ultimately have to be the condom-user*, even if the woman is the one who provides it. Men are also the ones who don’t get pregnant. Conclusion — the apathy we observe regarding people who carelessly aren’t using contraception might really be male apathy. Maybe women aren’t so apathetic about this, given that they have to carry and raise the kid.
    2) Hormonal contraceptives are actually more effective than condoms in preventing pregnancy (but obviously they don’t prevent STDs; that would have to be a separate conversation.)
    3) Condoms have to be put on an erect penis. That means you’re already in the moment when you start to use them. That’s one reason people fail to use them. Hormonal treatment is something you can do as part of your daily routine (for pills) or your annual doctor’s visit (shots, implants, etc).
    4) In addition to the “in the moment” incentive not to use a condom, you also have the “it doesn’t feel as good” incentive.
    5) You have to be prepared and get one in advance. Or have them lying around at home…in which case you run the risk of expiry.

    *female condoms are essentially useless.

    It just seems like we might as well encourage people to use more effective contraception given that the technology is out there. Or at least give them the option. I’d be astonished if cutting funding there somehow ultimately saved us money in the long run. ONE unwanted pregnancy/birth is such a huge burden on the economy I think it easily balances out many women’s extra contraceptive costs.

    An issue that C.M.Hatum raises is how many of these babies are in fact unwanted. If people really don’t care whether they get pregnant then you’re right — throwing money at this might not do anything.

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