Birth control provisions necessary in stimulus

By Steven Schnarr

On Jan. 27, The U.S. House dropped the most justifiable and necessary provision from the stimulus bill-$200 million for new contraceptive services and prevention of STDs.

If any of the provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are worthwhile, birth control initiatives are, and have been, the most needed.

Some argue that birth control is an unrelated part of the bill, rather than directly affecting stimulus. But this point is valid only if all health care benefits, national deficit reduction and environmental concerns are unrelated.

Not only would these provisions reduce welfare costs and medical expenses, increase quality of life and defend women’s rights, but they would protect the environment, as well.

Cutting costs of welfare and Medicaid by reducing need might not be about creating jobs, but it would help with the national deficit. The Congressional Budget Office predicted the $200 million invested in birth control would eventually save $400 million, according to The New York Times. In the past, Republicans seemed more concerned with funding abstinence-only programs with no fiscal return. The government spent $176 million on abstinence-only funding in 2007 alone, and more than one billion in the past 10 years, according to the Advocates for Youth group. But they refused to spend the same amount on birth control programs with supporting research on the bill.

Increasing the quality of life isn’t saying that children make life worse, but that wanted children make life better. When parents have control over when their children are born, both parties end up happier. No child grows up to say, “I wish I had been aborted,” but many say, “I wish my parents were there for me,” or something similar. The best way to support a healthy childhood is when parents are prepared for the pregnancy.

Defending women’s rights with birth control isn’t about abortions-it’s about preventing them. If everyone who wanted to be on birth control had access to it, then there would be hardly any need for abortions. Creating better access to contraceptives would reduce the number of abortions.

Protecting the environment through reducing births isn’t about mandatory population restrictions-it’s about voluntary population control. Population is a major contributor to pollution, if not the biggest. The amount of pollution produced directly relates to the amount of people on Earth. If we took the total world pollution output in 2009, and cut 50 percent of the total pollution made per person by 2068, the world would still be producing the same total amount of pollution that is being produced today. Making sure population increase only comes from wanted pregnancies should be a priority for environmentalists.

Preventing unwanted pregnancies is a solution to the core of many problems we face on a national and global scale. But politicians brush the core of the problem aside, as if long-lasting solutions are of least concern.

The worst part is the House axed the provision, heeding advice from Obama to make it a “bipartisan” bill, but House Republicans still voted against it unanimously. It would have passed just the same with the provision included.

If the government should be distributing aid in the country anywhere-to anything-it should be for access to birth control-but they suckered us once again.