OH HELL NO

Mar. 15th, 2012 01:05 pm
moonwise: (what fuck?)
[personal profile] moonwise
Arizona wades into contraception controversy

The Arizona Senate is considering a bill that would give all businesses the option to exclude contraceptives from health insurance coverage. The only exception is if a woman can prove she is taking the contraceptives for other medical reasons.

Supporters say such a law would protect the religious beliefs of employers, while critics assert the tradeoff would be an affront to the liberties of employees.

Date: 2012-03-15 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiggymalvern.livejournal.com
Are they introducing an equivalent law that men must prove a medical reason for impotence before they can be prescribed Viagra? No? Gosh, you do surprise me.

Date: 2012-03-15 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
Oh, I wish.

Date: 2012-03-15 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skurtchasor.livejournal.com
Would it be okay for the government to require that every Vegan employer provide, at his/her own expense, non-vegetarian meals for employees? If it helps clarify the question, assume that we're talking about Veganism for religious reasons.

Date: 2012-03-15 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
My employer provides vegetarian meals for purchase in the caf, plus fish on Fridays during Lent.

Do you think Viagra and Cialis should be covered for all men, even those for whom their ED is a result of their Type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is often caused by obesity, so maybe they shouldn't eat so damn much, those fatties.

Date: 2012-03-16 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skurtchasor.livejournal.com
You're avoiding the question. Answer mine and I'll answer yours.

Date: 2012-03-16 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
Sorry. I read your reply on my phone and I did not read it closely enough.

The Arizona bill is not just talking about religious employers. It's talking about all employers. I'm sure some of them would be happy to cook up an objection if it saved them a couple dollars.

I will have to consider your conundrum further, but it's asinine that people take on the position that OMG BIRTH CONTROL IS AGAINST GOD except for me because I'm special. After all, most women have used some form of contraception.

Date: 2012-03-16 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
Here's your answer, as best as I can reason it out. I did not exactly participate on the debate team.

In the most simple terms - do I think that the government should require Vegan employers to serve subsidized carnivore meals? No. But the reason I think so is that the outcome of not serving vegan meals is rather different from not subsidizing pharmaceutical contraception. The unlucky carnivore who can't get another job and who thinks tofurkey is a sin against nature will, at worst, go hungry at lunch that day, or have to bring his/her own.

The outcome of not covering pharmaceutical BC is rather more life-changing. Let's put it this way: my pills are covered by my plan. With coverage, it's $25/month. Without coverage, maybe it's more like $200/month. That adds up to $2400/year. I get paid well for what I do, so if my employer didn't cover my BC, it would be a nuisance, but I could pay for it. For someone who is making minimum wage, that's a significantly higher proportion of her salary.

Yes, there are other methods of BC besides pharmaceutical. But, they either require consent on the part of the man (condoms), or they are not as effective as hormonal methods, or they are meant for use with a diaphragm (spermicidal creams and jellies.) I don't even know whether the sponge is still sold. You can go ahead and argue that if you can't afford a baby, maybe you shouldn't be having sex, but I think that's very simplistic and doesn't address the frazzled married woman with three children who has neither the time, the money, or the energy for additional babies.

Not covering BC for religious reasons may have the outcome of additional unwanted pregnancies, resulting either in a live birth or an abortion. For those live births, it is not the religious institution who is then responsible for taking care of that child. It is the mother and father, or more usually the mother; and if the mother can't take care of the child, then it falls to the state. Not the Church.

I know exactly one Catholic who puts her money where her mouth is and fosters a child who is one of ten. This young lady's mother had one after the other, can care for none of them, and someday someone is going to have to tell this child that her mother doesn't want her back. You have to wonder how things might have turned out if her mother had easy and subsidized access to BC and had used it.

So, no to the Vegan question because the outcome does not eventually require government intervention. Yes to the forcing of the insurers to cover BC, because unwanted pregnancies are bad for everyone, especially that unwanted child. If that makes me a hypocrite, fine.

You seem to enjoy coming into my journal to challenge me on these issues, especially where women's health is concerned. I'm not sure whether it's because you want to see what I'm going to say, or whether you think I should be able to defend my position, or whether you just like to pick bones. I hope to be able to return the favor, since you have given me the opportunity so many times to consider and articulate why I feel the way that I do.

Date: 2012-03-16 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skurtchasor.livejournal.com
Thanks for the response. If you ever feel that I'm picking on you too much, please please please let me know. It's just that you often post about issues that I care about, we have productive discussions even when we disagree, and most of the other folks who meet those criteria have gone over to Facebook.

I find myself torn on this particular issue, and hashing it out here has been helpful. On one hand, I would wholeheartedly welcome universally accessible birth control, for all the reasons you've given above and moar. My wife and I are being responsible and are committed to not having children, so I'd much rather pay for somebody else's BC than subsidize their brood through tax credits, school taxes, or welfare programs. If the right-wingers weren't held hostage by their religious beliefs, they'd realize this the The Smart Thing To Do (tm).

But on the other hand, I'm wary of the government throwing out something as fundamental as religious liberty (no pun intended) for The Good of the State. As much as I detest myself for calling "Oh noes the slippery slope!" here, I have to wonder what kind of precedent this would set (hence my obvious rhetorical trap regarding Vegan employers, which you negotiated quite well). I was raised Catholic and have grown to be somewhere between Agnostic and Deist, so I don't want the feds, or anyone else, telling me that I'm now required to give monetary support to something that goes against my beliefs, even if it is for the so-called Greater Good.

And this next bit is not directed at you, but there's a maddening amount of hypocrisy going around. The same liberals who spent eight years bitching and moaning about GWB trampling the Constitution now seem able to conveniently ignore the Establishment Clause, because in this case it gets them what they want.

Date: 2012-03-16 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
I don't want the feds, or anyone else, telling me that I'm now required to give monetary support to something that goes against my beliefs

The government does an awful lot of things with my money to which I am idealogically opposed - funding unwinnable wars, taking away sex ed programs and replacing them with abstinence-only education, providing aid to countries that I don't think deserve it... the list goes on. How is BC different? Do I get to stop paying taxes because teaching creationism in NJ public school goes against my atheism?

One could probably run in circles on this issue for some time, but IMO it boils down to this: BC is cheaper than babies.

Date: 2012-03-16 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skurtchasor.livejournal.com
I'd thought about this issue while posting the previous reply, and here's the best I've been able to come up with. When the government takes my tax dollars, I have some influence, via the ballot box, over how that money is spent (and please pay no attention to the political naiveté behind the curtain). I know that I will never get everything I want from this process, but nor will anybody else. This is called compromise.

So it's not birth control that's the issue, it's that the government is mandating every citizen purchase a product from the private sector regardless of any moral opposition and (the important part) with no direct accountability or path for recourse. For example, I would not support a law saying that every homeowner was required to purchase a security system with private monitoring because this would reduce crime and save money for the police department.

I realize that's splitting the hair pretty thin, but it's the best I've got.

Date: 2012-03-16 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
For example, I would not support a law saying that every homeowner was required to purchase a security system with private monitoring because this would reduce crime and save money for the police department.

I'm glad that the government doesn't require security systems, because they are a colossal waste of money for all the false alarms they generate. But, the law does mandate that you purchase car insurance if you own a car, and homeowner's insurance if you own a house. Every citizen has to pay into Social Security and Medicare, even though you and I have a snowball's chance in hell of ever receiving either program ourselves.

Again, running in circles. Me, I think that the kerfuffle over BC has its roots in what people claim should be happening vs. what they actually do. Admitting the truth means going against "principles," which then leads to a whole bunch of questions that are very uncomfortable to answer. Better just to hold the party line.

Date: 2012-03-16 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skurtchasor.livejournal.com
As much as I hate to agree with the republicans on this one, nobody is forced to drive a car or own a house, and I have several friends who get along quite well without one or the other. The individual mandate requires you to buy something simply because you exist.

But I think you're dead on regarding BC.

Date: 2012-03-16 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
Oh, and ps - you now owe me an answer re: Viagra. :)

Date: 2012-03-16 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skurtchasor.livejournal.com
As a Testicled American who makes an effort to stay healthy and drops several hundred dollars a month on insurance premiums, they had damn well better cover my Viagra if I ever get ED.

I'll admit that this is a hard question (pun intended). If you're asking whether it's unfair/hypocritical/chauvinistic to cover ED treatment and not cover birth control, then the answer is a big YES. But if the question is whether to cover medication/treatment that allows individuals to avoid personal responsibility because a magic pill will fix it later...not so cut-and-dry. I dislike the idea of rewarding people for bad choices by covering these things with insurance, but nor am I comfortable with the idea that the ability to erase past mistakes depends on the size of one's bank account.

Date: 2012-03-16 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sideburnpower.livejournal.com
What a winning strategy for getting both the young and the female populations to agree with your political platforms.

Date: 2012-03-16 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arafel.livejournal.com
It's guaranteed!

Date: 2012-03-19 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] archaeologist-d.livejournal.com
I think you articulated it pretty well in your above statements. If they asked me (not that they would since I'm beyond that now) about if I was using BC for non-reproduction, I'd probably get terribly snarky and start telling them every single little detail and make up a few of my own - when my period started, how long it goes, pain cycles, methods of non-medical BC (such as blow jobs, etc). But then again, I'm not worried about losing my job, either.

I'm beginning to wonder what country we live in. It's becoming less and less recognizable every day.

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