There’s no shortage of commentary – and no shortage of humor potential – on this issue. If it weren’t all so sad and terrible it’d be fun.
My favorite is Steyn’s “like handing out condoms on the Titanic,” followed by (a very close second) Derbyshire’s “the most primitive kind of idiot socialism. Nothing’s free. Somebody pays.”
Contraception Misdirection by Mark Steyn
(T)he Baby Boomers did not have enough children to maintain mid-20th-century social programs. As a result, the children they did have will end their lives in a poorer, uglier, sicker, more divided, and more violent society. How to avert this fate? In 2009 Nancy Pelosi called for free contraceptives as a form of economic stimulus. Ten thousand Americans retire every day, and leave insufficient progeny to pick up the slack. In effect, Nancy has rolled a giant condom over the entire American economy.
…the Democrats shriek, Ooh, Republican prudes who can’t get any action want to shut down your sex life! According to CBO projections, by mid-century mere interest payments on the debt will exceed federal revenues. For purposes of comparison, by 1788 Louis XVI’s government in France was spending a mere 60 percent of revenues on debt service, and we know how that worked out for His Majesty shortly thereafter. Not to worry, says Barry Antoinette. Let them eat condoms.
This is a very curious priority for a dying republic. “Birth control” is accessible, indeed ubiquitous, and, by comparison with anything from a gallon of gas to basic cable, one of the cheapest expenses in the average budget. Not even Rick Santorum, that notorious scourge of the sexually liberated, wishes to restrain the individual right to contraception.
But where is the compelling societal interest in the state prioritizing and subsidizingit? Especially when you’re already the Brokest Nation in History. Elsewhere around the developed world, prudent politicians are advocating natalist policies designed to restock their empty maternity wards. A few years ago, announcing tax incentives for three-child families, Peter Costello, formerly Timmy Geithner’s counterpart Down Under, put it this way: “Have one for Mum, one for Dad, and one for Australia.” But in America an oblivious political class, led by a president who characterizes young motherhood as a “punishment,” prefers to offer solutions to problems that don’t exist rather than the ones that are all too real. I think this is what they call handing out condoms on the Titanic.
Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, distills the current hysteria thus: “It’s as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying ‘What’s wrong with bacon? You’re trying to ban bacon!!!!’”
Radio Derb (hosted by John Derbyshire)
…For one, there’s the notion of “free contraceptive services,” or free anything. Nothing’s free. Someone has to pay. Someone has to pay for Jane Q. Public’s contraception. Presumably Obama thinks the Insurance companies should pay, out of those big brass-bound chests of gold bullion they keep in their basements. This is the most primitive kind of idiot socialism. Nothing’s free. Somebody pays.
Things go best when people pay for their lifestyle choices themselves, at prices set in a free market. Fortunately contraception is cheap. The number of Americans who can’t afford contraception is not known to me, but I’ll wager it’s less than one in a hundred. And for them, free contraception is already available at thousands of clinics nationwide under President Nixon’s 1970 Public Health Service Act, and for that matter also under Medicaid, mandatorily. So why is provision of, quote, “free contraceptive services” any kind of issue? Obama’s call for “free” contraceptive services for women makes as much sense as a call for social security payments to old people. It’s been a done deal for decades, you lying fool.