Isn’t it strange how those folks that sell themselves as both fiscal hawks and Christian conservatives manage to make it through the day without their heads exploding from all the cognitive dissonance? We hear over and over again the false argument that “Obamacare” is going to cost a fortune and destroy our economy.
A report released this week by the Guttmacher Institute found that unintended pregnancies are costing taxpayers $12.5 billion a year. Pulling from data in 2008 and 2010, they discovered that nationally there were 1.1 million births annually paid for out of governmental insurance. Incidentally, the map of where most of these occurred looks surprisingly like a map of the Bible Belt.
While it is a good thing that under the Affordable Care Act more women will receive contraceptive services, Guttmacher warns that we must continue to protect Title X funding too:
“…chronic underinvestment and ideological attacks on the programs and providers that make publicly supported family planning services accessible to millions of women have been counterproductive. For instance, appropriations for the Title X national family planning program are 67% lower today than they were in FY 1980, adjusted for inflation. Shortsighted cuts to highly successful family planning programs may actually end up increasing public expenditures”
Just this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Michigan based Eden Foods who were challenging the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act on religious grounds. The firm’s president, Michael Potter, had filed suit against U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, over the requirement. The court found that a for-profit business is not eligible for an exemption.
“[W]e hold that Eden Foods, a secular, for-profit corporation, cannot establish that it can exercise religion, and that Potter cannot establish his standing to challenge obligations placed only upon the corporation, not upon him as an individual.”
Also this week, Cornerstone University, a Christian school out of Grand Rapids, filed a similar suit, citing religious objections. They join Wheaton, Notre Dame and Geneva in opposing the birth control mandate.
Title X services have a considerable impact on Michigan. Currently, 16 percent of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services are uninsured, with many more under-insured. In spite of the assistance, Michigan has about 100,000 unintended pregnancies a year, costing taxpayers $319 million. But without Title X, Guttmacher estimates there would be an additional 29,200 unintended pregnancies in the state, which would result in 14,500 live births and 10,000 abortions. That’s a rise of unplanned pregnancies of 36 percent, and a 39 percent increase in abortions. Teen pregnancy would rise by 45 percent.
Next time you’re chatting it up with a Tea Partier, ask them this: Which is it? Fiscal responsibility or religious ideology?
Amy Kerr Hardin