Opinion: Controlling Birth Control

Jennifer Hutchinson is a freshman political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer Hutchinson

On Friday, Jan. 24, USA Today reported that “the Supreme Court temporarily exempted a religious non-profit organization from the federal health care law’s mandate that insurance plans include free coverage of contraceptives.” Two cases involving for-profit corporations, whose owners oppose abortion on religious grounds, are set to be heard in March. All of these cases are challenging the law created by President Obama in 2009, and passed by Congress in 2010, which requires health officials to cover a preventative care plan that includes birth control for women. Refusal to provide such coverage could result in millions of dollars in fines.

The government has since backed off a bit, exempting some non-profit organizations such as church-affiliated charities, schools, and hospitals. However, the real question is, why is the government providing contraceptives at all? No organization, whether it’s a for-profit business, and especially if it’s a non-profit, religiously-affiliated group, should be held responsible for the birth control of its employees. I should not have to pay for strangers’ contraceptives, which is exactly what will happen under the mandates of the Affordable Care Act.

While Republicans talk show host Mike Huckabee’s opinion on birth control mandates has changed since his years as Governor of Arkansas, I couldn’t agree more with a statement he made last Thursday during the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting: “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they’re helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

Republicans are often criticized for driving a “war on women,” but the Democrats are the ones leading the fight. This administration is promoting a mindset that women do not have the capacity to protect themselves without the government holding their hand. Ladies, recognize the importance of your stance on this critical issue and do not let the government insult you by making you believe it must provide for you. You are better than that; we are better than that.

Now, this comment is for both the ladies and gentlemen: I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t particularly like my money going towards other people’s sex lives. Yes, maybe the idea of free contraceptives sounds great on paper but it won’t be so nice when it comes time to pay the bill. Oh, and guess who’s going to be coughing up the money?  Us.

What they don’t tell you about Obamacare is that all those “free” benefits have to be paid for somehow, and we’ll be the ones doing it. All I can really say to that is, I’m broke enough as it is.