This graph (click to embiggen) shows the teenage pregnancy and abortion rate for the last 20 years. Guess what? When teens get pregnant less often, they abort less often. Add this in with the fact that effective birth control (like IUDs and some of the new Pill formulations) can be a serious expense for middle-class households, while Viagra is covered by most health plans, and the 55-40 split in public opinion supporting insurance payment for contraception, and you have a solid political winner.
I commented on one of Kay’s threads yesterday that I’d believe that Republicans were serious about contraception pushback when they introduced a bill, mainly because I couldn’t believe that they’d throw down on such an obvious loser. I still don’t think they’ll do it, but Boehner has threatened to introduce legislation, and the five pro-choice Republicans left in the party met at a Denny’s and wrote a press release saying it was an obviously bad idea, so maybe they are going to down that rabbit hole. If they do, it’s a sign of desperation, not of strength, since it shows that a 55-40 winner is the worst thing that the Obama Administration has done recently.
“That was no consolation to Catholic leaders. The White House is “all talk, no action” on moving toward compromise, said Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “There has been a lot of talk in the last couple days about compromise, but it sounds to us like a way to turn down the heat, to placate people without doing anything in particular,” Picarello said. “We’re not going to do anything until this is fixed.”
That means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, he said, not simply changing it for Catholic employers and their insurers. He cited the problem that would create for “good Catholic business people who can’t in good conscience cooperate with this.”
“If I quit this job and opened a Taco Bell, I’d be covered by the mandate,” Picarello said”
I also read yesterday, somewhere, that somewhere on the order of 58% of women on the pill take it in part for non-contraceptive reasons, cramps and so forth. Not that it should matter to anyone why they’re taking it, but it kind of puts the lie to the whole “we shouldn’t have to pay for this if we don’t believe in it” stuff. Husband & I were also talking about how decisively these “zygotes = people” constitutional amendments keep failing, and how the current crop of R candidates keeps endorsing them, across the board. So in other news, JC Penney shopping report. Nice selection of girls’ party dresses, and reasonable, easy-to-understand prices. Success on the girl clothing shopping front. The women’s clothing selection is improved, but I think they still need to bring in some more current names in fashion, something along the lines of what Target has done with its rotating designers. Worthington just isn’t going to bring in their target demographic, even with the other changes.
A big argument about contraception? What is this, 1912?
One thing that Planned Parenthood offers is contraception at a price the individual can afford although IIRC, it used to be a bit of a hassle to go to PP. I have no idea what it’s like now.
If the Republicans could control their urges a bit and introduce a bill that exempts only Catholic hospitals and parish offices and such, they might get away with their nonsense. They might make a surgical strike to get the exemptions they want. But they will probably write a bill with all the finesse of a chain saw and that paints them as anti-contraception. Then they’ll proudly vote for that bill. Dumb.
I have a question though: Why was Boehner warning the Administration that the Republicans would introduce a bill if they didn’t get their way? How is that a threat?
“Oooh! He’s going to introduce a bill! Horrors!”
This is unreal- thought these battles had been fought and won years ago. Even conservative Republicans (including Olympia Snowe) in the 80s agreed that birth control would help limit abortions. They have lost their minds!
Maybe OT, but can I just ask – Viagra is covered by whose health plan? Not mine.
For those Catholics who still attend Sunday Mass: this might be a great week to slip an envelope into the collection plate.
With a note in it, explaining that you support healthcare for women, including access to contraception.
Signing optional. You have a right to privacy.
Optional whether you tithe, too. Although I think noticeably reduced collections for a few weeks, coupled with notes, might get the parish’s attention.
White Catholic men didn’t and won’t vote for Obama anyway, but their wives, sisters and daughters will. If the GOP didn’t learn from Schiavo, then they’re beyond hope. Fighting a culture war with a bunch of prune faced angry old white men that’s already been won by the other side is beyond stupid, which is why they’ll probably try to keep it up. So to speak.
The news media keeps telling me it’s a religious issue though.
@Cat Lady: Perhaps the GOP feels like this will help with the Latino vote? I doubt the numbers would work in their favor (gained latinos – lost independents = -large number) but it’s pretty clear the GOP is lacking in strategic leadership these days.
OT, but this ginned up nonsense is all they’ve got since unemployment keeps going down.
@Cat Lady: This is going back to flag pins before it’s all over.
If they want to gain Latinos, they should maybe stop talking about how much they hate Latinos. As it is, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of Latino Catholics who use contraception and who wouldn’t be any more favorably inclined to the GOP anyway.
I wish the Pope would just excommunicate all of the US and call all the priests back to Rome.
The graph looks wrong. The number of teen pregnancies should equal the sum of the teen births plus abortions, give or take.
It’s definitely not a regular plotted graph, unless there are massive numbers of pregnancies resolving in some other way.
If it is a stacked graph, it looks better, but there are enough discrepancies that it is still pretty off. There are more abortions and births for 1992 than pregnancies for either 1992 or 1991. Sure, there are twins that mess up the data, but there are also miscarriages that would skew it the other way.
Some things that look like winners are really losers, and visa versa.
For instance, Newt’s energetic denunciation of the media for airing his wife’s interview made an interesting sound bite, but led to days of media coverage about wife number one, wife number two, the multiyear affair with wife number three, etc. His campaign has never recovered.
I think the publicity about objection to other people’s use of birth control is valuable. How does one spin that meddling as a positive stance?
L. Russert’s tweets today provide an insight into how young Catholics feel about the subject. They use birth control, even Plan B.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Gustopher: The discrepencies are probably due to miscarriages. I’m at work, so I won’t google it, but I suspect the rate of miscarriage after pregnancy detection, especially if the pregnancy is detected early enough, is high enough to be the difference.
I’m skeptical of the claim that most health insurance plans cover ED drugs too. I can’t be bothered to try to find data on the claim and would love to be proven wrong but I haven’t had a plan that covered them in about 8 years. I was working for a company that had covered them but then I had to tell the department that I was head of then of the various changes in the plan for 2004. The department was mostly made up of women in their 40s and up and they were not pleased by that particular change. I presume because they had husbands who needed them to perform or, like me, were looking into the future and thinking, “fuck, one day I’m going to have to pay for those pills out of pocket.”
@Lawnguylander: After I got sick last year I had to take medication for a while that caused some problems; a script of 10 pills was $240. My insurance isn’t Cadillac but it isn’t terrible, either. It definitely isn’t that I’m quarreling with the decision to cover contraceptives, because I’m not at all. I just keep seeing this statement about coverage for Viagra and I’m curious about the basis.
@Lawnguylander: Maybe it is the Congressional health care plan that pays for ED treatment!
Gin & Tonic
News flash. Young Catholics used birth control 40 years ago, too.
So, I changed my mind and decided to look into it and according to this study, 75% of the plans they looked at do offer some coverage of ED drugs. Future me who wants to keep on fucking ’til I’m chilling in peace is somewhat relieved. And since I don’t anticipate looking for a prescription so I can masturbate more effectively, I imagine that my future sexual partner will benefit too. This is not just a men’s health issue unless we’re only talking about gay dudes. And even if we were, happy, insurance covered fucking to them in the future too.
I also found this which I missed in the health care debate. What a dickhead.
Ooops, never mind that second link, didn’t read it carefully enough.
@Gin & Tonic: That’s my point. I can’t see where this is a political winner for conservatives.
@Birthmarker: As someone pointed out upthread, it is unclear exactly what new cohort of voters they are going to mobilize with this.
Very simple Dem ad / talking point — Do you really want to vote for the GOP wacko who will take away your birth control?
Now there’s a winner. Honestly, only the old men are going to go for this — why doesn’t the GOP just hang a banner with “Fuck off youngsters and most women (forever).”
I’m with everyone else, the logic (besides — AHHHH, the jobs/economy numbers are improving, quick look at the shiny object!!!) is not clear at all.
Now if the dems can figure out how to articulate that simple message.
pseudonymous in nc
Perhaps Graham Linehan can give the rights to use this.
@jefft452: Why don’t they just go all out and demand a national law banning contraception. After all that is what they believe and say is right. That is what they did prior to Griswold v. Conneticut.
Hunmane Vitae is an odious encyclical, a sin of pride against charity (Love). It has, and continues to have, devasating consequences among the poor in countries and lands where the Church holds sway. I can’t believe we are having this debate in 2012! And that these idiots think they can win elections on this crap.
It should be very simple. This is about a woman’s right to control her own body and be an equal citizen. This is about placing women under the thumb of men, men who in this instance have often demonstrated that they do not have the best interest in mind of those they see as weak or vulnerable, be they children or women. They see them as prey.
Real Americans always shoot for maximum masturbatory effectiveness.
Notice how the pregnancy rate starts heading back up in the mid-2000s as “abstinence only” kicks in?