Thursday, July 15, 2010

preventive health care

There are some questions I'd always thought settled, even in my days of staunch Catholicism. One of those was birth control. While I'd argue ad nauseam against using it, I also knew (or thought I knew) that it was settled law--that birth control was legal, the the government supported it, and that women and men relied upon it.

Apparently I was wrong. While writing the law on health care reform, it appears that Catholic definition and understanding of "birth control" (ie. that basically only natural family planning counted as "control") has inserted itself into the debate. So, while there are literally millions of unplanned pregnancies per year, and many of those will be aborted, there is actually debate right now as to if the government should provide free contraception. (this is, of course, a simplification of all the nuances and legalities, but that's basically what it boils down to). So, that leaves us where?

Some argue that 1. preventing unwanted pregnancies is good and 2. to prevent unwanted pregnancies, we should provide citizens with access to free and affordable contraceptives. Others argue that 1. abortion is wrong 2. preventing unwanted pregnancies is good 3. to prevent them, we should tell people not to have sex.

Again, a simplification, but that's basically what it boils down to.

I posted a quote on my facebook a while back about secularism as the appropriate prism through which laws should be viewed. In this case, it seems obvious to me, but then again, I'm no politician. Here's some more on the subject on Sullivan's blog.


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