That the HHS mandate is unconstitutional, a breach in general rights that could have significant ramifications for everyone in the future, is the grounds upon which the Catholic Church and its supporters in this issue fight against it. It is not about birth control or women’s rights or abortion or forcing people to be Catholic or any other of a number of side issues.
That being said, just who is this mandate good for? Is it good for women? Let us be honest, women already bear the fuller load of responsibility for the consequences of sexual encounters by way of the construction of our bodies. We are told that “reproductive health” services will greatly enhance her freedom. I argue that it will erode it further. With this mandate the responsibility for the consequences of sexual activity now will fall more heavily and officially on the woman’s shoulders. “It’s your problem,” she might hear when facing the possibility of pregnancy. “Didn’t you protect yourself? Don’t look at me. Do ‘something’ about it.”
As we further and further destroy the social structures that would have supported her – structures that said, “Men, take responsibility for your actions,” she becomes more and more autonomous and alone – an object for men to use. She as a person will become more periphery to men’s lives other than what she can do for them.
Further, the Catholic Medical Board (CMB) Women Physicians state, “OCPs (abortifacients, oral contraceptives) contribute to significant disease and dysfunction, such as increased rates of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks (especially in smokers); increased rates of HPV transmission; and increased incidence of cervical cancer and liver tumors. The same synthetic hormones in OCPs that make a woman’s body behave as if pregnant all the time also change her body chemistry, rendering her more susceptible to STIs. As physicians, we frequently must care of women suffering from the unanticipated side effects of OCPs.”
So is this good for men? We can’t expect to teach men starting in grade school about every aspect of sex, tell them how to “protect” themselves, and then how to get out of it should something go wrong, and expect that to make them more responsible human beings. As men continue down the path of seeing women as an object they can use like a magazine or computer image, something that can be done away with when it is no longer as pleasurable as it once was, then men become less too – they become untethered, lone cowboys that are taught that when the going gets tough, the tough get going on to the next woman.
So is it good for children? We already see the breakdown of the family in modern culture. Do we wish to see it erode further? That divorce does not affect children is a fallacy. Ask any grade school teacher after one month of school who has a parent at home and who comes from a divided family and they will point them out.
Again from the CMB, “A child is not a disease, nor are fertility and pregnancy. They are physiological states of healthy individuals.” Children also are not objects or accoutrements to our lives but unique human beings formed by the actions of two other humans who hopefully take responsibility for this miracle they helped create.
So is it good for our pocket books? Once more from the CMB, “With regard to “cost savings” in health care, the Guttmacher Institute’s own data show that increases in contraception use lead to increased demand for abortions, and that women are more likely to have unplanned pregnancies when using contraception. There are no valid statistics demonstrating that use of contraception and abortion have improved the health of women and children. In fact, the rates of premature and low birth weight infants have been rising precipitously since rates of abortion and OCP use have increased. One in 8 babies is now born prematurely. NICU care now accounts for 25% of the entire maternal/newborn budget!
"Finally, it is important to realize that mandating “free contraception” is not free—it will mean higher insurance premiums for everyone and/or less money for the treatment of real diseases.” Think of it this way; before there was a manufacturer of OCPs, a distributer, a seller, possibly a doctor and you involved. Now with this mandate we will add government officials to oversee that it is being implemented and paperwork being sent to insurance companies who in turn must then have more staff to send out money to the sellers of these products who have to have staff to keep track of it all. It is not a less expensive process, it is a more expensive process.
Lastly (really) the woman who most needs this service is probably among the least likely to receive it. The truly poor will not have the full time job long enough that it will even pay business provided insurance. She will most likely continue to do without while the rest of the nations continues to train itself that it is her problem and that she should be able to take care of it.
So ask yourself the question:
If it isn’t good for women
If it isn’t good for men
If it isn’t good for children or families
If it isn’t good for your wallet
If it won’t reach the poorest of the poor who might actually need it
If it isn’t healthy for women’s bodies
If it isn't good for religious freedom
Who is it good for?
There’s a question worth pondering.