The Issue No One is Talking About

I saw John McCain’s YouTube video today where he was asked by a reporter why women had to pay for birth control while viagra was covered under most prescription drug plans. It was interesting to watch his reaction. There were numerous facial contortions and you could clearly see him weighing what was about to come out of his mouth against the media spin that would result. In the end he opted to say that he didn’t know enough about it to comment, which is politician-speak for, “I’m not going to risk pissing someone off on such an unimportant issue.” Nice going, John. Except it’s an important issue…very important.

Unless you have been living under a rock you know that unemployment is at an all time high, education is in crisis, and we are facing serious food, water and fuel shortages. Our cities are becoming hotbeds of crime, our highways are congested and prison populations are exploding. The common denominator for this (and an awful lot of other world woes) is the fact that there are just too many people inhabiting this earth. I am a firm believer that the long term answer to a lot of society’s ills can be found in birth control; free, readily available birth control.

It’s no surprise that unwanted children stress our welfare systems, fill our prisons and overtax our school systems. People who can’t afford birth control are the ones who need it most, and it continues to amaze me that welfare programs can pay out eight to ten thousand a year for a welfare recipient, but be unable to shell out the hundred bucks a year it would cost to provide birth control. As a country we should not only be providing this, but we should be marketing it instead of this Abstinence Only program which is a post-Victorian joke foisted upon us by the Republican party and religious right.

Until we can become as evolved and as pragmatic as countries like Denmark and Sweden who understand the social ramifications of unplanned pregnancies, we are going to continue to fill our social ranks with people who are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Their vastly lower crime rates, higher standard of living and better educational system is an indirect result of having fewer people on the dole.

I think we have yet to realize the long term effects of our head-in-the-sand approach to population control, and when we do it will be devastating…and much too late.

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2 Comments

  1. Charley said,

    August 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Bravo!! I never considered that argument.

  2. August 7, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Sadly enough, McCain probably did the right thing. If he had given a straight answer, this thing would have been spun fifteen different ways by the media.

    That aside, I’m with you all the way on this. Birth control is of vital importance to the future of this country and the world. To be honest, abstinence is the best and smartest way of achieving this, because it creates a two-prong attack on both exploding population and the burgeoning STD pandemic. Unfortunately, while it’s the best, it’s not the most effective, thanks to the imperfection of the human biological machine. When hormones and endorphins are pumping through the brain, proper reasoning tends to fly out the window. That’s why I agree with you that abstinence is an archaic expectation and citizens should be provided with cheap and easily obtainable birth control.

    The problem is that trying to get birth control by conservatives is like trying to get ANWR drilling by environmentalists, or proactive national defense by liberals. It’s a deal-breaker and as long as the opposing two party system exists in this country, nothing is going to happen. Progress in either direction will eventually just get nullified by the other side. I think it’s time to form a third “Common Sense” party.

    Also, I do think that United States is doing a heck of a lot better job on curbing population growth than many other countries out there. While we have the highest growth of the developed nations (0.88%), it’s definitely below the world average of 1.16%. It’s also the lowest it’s been since the early 1940’s. More and more people are “getting it,” but more has to be done to reinforce the point to people who don’t.

    A good place to start would to stop rewarding people who have 15 kids with tax benefits. People who have that many children should be separated, tied up, and sent to a deserted island.


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