EDIT: Yay! Good news on the horizon. Still have to wait a year, though.
EDIT 2: Of course, the news only applies to those privileged individuals that already have health insurance, so birth control isn’t free just yet. But it is a good first step. (Really, I just wanted to let y’all know that my posters were still relevant.)
So here in DC, there is always something about politics. Funny how that works, right? And this is not to say that I don’t find it all very fascinating, but I don’t think I’ve connected very well with this city. I respect it, but I do not see us becoming anything more than acquaintances. The other problem is the way politics have been going at the present time. If y’all haven’t been keeping up, it’s just going horribly all around. It’s been depressing me.
One bit of good news did pop up a few weeks back. A study commissioned by the Health and Human Services Department recommended that birth control should be provided for free, without co-pay by health insurers. The reasoning would be that it would save money in the long run because the health costs of pregnancies are so expensive. All of which not only makes sense, but would be awesome.
Of course, there is that inevitable backlash with the primary argument being that people who don’t believe in birth control would now be forced to pay (in the form of their tax dollars) for other people’s birth control. I feel like that would be a completely valid argument if everyone was guaranteed that their tax dollars weren’t being used for things they don’t believe in. Sadly, that does not happen to be the case. My tax dollars support things I don’t believe in all the time, and I don’t even get any say in how they’re used because I am not allowed to vote by the laws of this country. Moreover, those same laws won’t let me apply to vote until several years from now.
If I can’t vote and if I can’t direct my tax dollars (which, to be fair, are pittances in the grand scheme of things), I will do the little I can by making some flashy posters espousing what I believe to be good policy. Now, I don’t mean to suggest, by way of my posters, that if we have free birth control, we should make abortion illegal. I think abortion should always be legal, because sometimes, it is just necessary. However, I also think the evidence is convincing in proving that increased birth control usage reduces the likelihood of abortion. I just felt that “stop abortion” would be catchier than “reduce the incidence of abortion.”
In this way, I hope to make my beliefs clear: I am both pro-life and pro-choice. I believe that no one wants to have an abortion, but sometimes, women need abortions. I would never question why a woman believes she needs an abortion, because I am sure the reasons are myriad and highly personal. The decision usually comes after serious thinking.
But again, I believe no one wants an abortion, because I think an abortion is a sign that a mistake was made somewhere. Something happened that wasn’t supposed to, and the abortion is trying to fix that mistake. However, often the mistake could have been avoided, and I believe that can occur by making birth control more accessible. A great way to do that is to make it free.
In addition, I see this as a highly pro-life stance because not only would reduce the incidence of abortion, but it would also insure that more children who are born are born to people who both want and are ready for them. I also think that there are additional measures that should be supported if one truly is to be pro-life such as supporting universal medical care and food access for infants and their parents, but this would be a nice place to start.
At the bottom, along with my assertion that this stance is pro-life and pro-choice, I add that this stance is also pro-sex and pro-health. I make no secret of the fact that I believe in being sex positive and access to contraceptives for individuals who choose to be sexually active is clearly part of that agenda. As for pro-health, I think I have made my fear of pregnancy clear, but even outside of that irrational fear, pregnancy can be take a huge toll on health. Undergoing that without being ready for it is also something this policy could prevent.
This entire post has been a wash of seriousness and a little bit of grumpiness. I am sorry. This city has been making me a little grumpy.