Tag Archive: birth control

Christie on birth control

In a cringe-worthy moment at 9:30am on Tuesday in a diner in New Hampshire Gov. Christie said:

I’m a Catholic, but I’ve used birth control – and not just the rhythm method. My church has a teaching against birth control. Does that make me an awful Catholic? Because I believe and practiced that function during part of my life? I don’t think so.”

Too much information? Inappropriately timed? How is such a comment going to help his campaign? Is it pure hypocrisy as deciminyan points out that “despite the teachings of his church (which he used as a basis for his opposition to marriage equality), Christie says he has used birth control despite denying the same services to less-wealthy New Jersey families.”? Is Christie losing control of his message? An example of him “telling it like it is”? Just an unwise comment to make? All, none, or some of the above or something else?

Free Market Birth Control Solution

I’m new to this making policy proposals, but I think there is an easy way for protect religious freedom while promoting a market based solution to concerns about birth control coverage.  First, let’s settle a couple of points up front.  Religious affiliated organizations should not be forced to provide birth control coverage if it goes against the tenants of their faith.  Second, birth control decreases the overall costs of health insurance by decreasing pregnancies, particularly those that are unwanted, while also serving legitimate medical purposes unrelated to birth control.

If we can agree on those two points, it seems that the following solutions would follow:

Any religious institution opposed to providing birth control, which reduces the cost of health care, will be permitted to pay a higher premium to cover the cost of implementing their conscience bond choice.

At the same time, insurance companies, who seek to maximize profits, would be permitted to negotiate incentives with individuals regarding the use of birth control.

I see this as a win-win-win.  Religious freedom wins and institutions are free to pay the higher cost of not providing preventive medicine; insurance companies have the opportunity to use market forces instead of government dictates to drive their bottom line; and women, I think in the end, will have greater access to birth control.

I recognize that this is my first blog – ever!   Please be gentle.  I know I have not worked all the numbers, but it just seems to make sense to me.  Instead of forcing intuitions to “pay” for birth control, simply allow them to NOT benefit from the financial savings of providing it.

Fighting for Women’s Healthcare

Mammograms, vaccinations, and prenatal care are just a few of the services that are unavailable to poor people in New Jersey thanks to Governor Christie’s veto of a recent women’s health care bill.

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It’s hard to imagine a more sensible use of money than investing it on preventative health care, which is why activists are lining up outside the State House (above) and in the Senate gallery (below) to urge NJ’s upper house to overturn Christie’s Veto.

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It takes twenty-eight votes to override a veto and today the prospects look pretty grim and according to my mathskillz we don’t have the votes for it anyway. Which is a shitty deal for poor people (who can’t get care) and taxpayers who end up with massive charity care bills.

More below the fold

NJ joins suit challenging denial of health care

Here’s another last minute rule change by the Bush Administration that was challenged by states including New Jersey in court late last week:

The attorneys general of Connecticut and six other states filed suit in federal court Thursday seeking to block the implementation of a controversial Bush administration rule they say would limit women’s access to contraceptives.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the regulation last month, saying it is needed to protect healthcare workers against discrimination by their employers if they decline to participate in abortions or other practices that violate their religious, moral or ethical beliefs.

This is what the Connecticut Attorney General had to say about why they filed the suit:

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) filed the lawsuit along with his counterparts in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island in U.S. district court in Connecticut. They seek an immediate injunction against HHS implementing and enforcing the regulation.

“On his way out, the Bush administration has left a ticking legal time bomb set to explode literally the same day of the Inaugural and blow apart vital constitutional rights and women’s healthcare,” Blumenthal said on a conference call with reporters.

And some of the problems people have with the new regulations:

Among opponents’ numerous complaints about the regulation is that it does not explicitly define abortion, which they say could permit healthcare workers to deny birth control to women or even emergency contraceptive “morning-after pills” to rape victims.

They say the regulation is too broad and could be interpreted to apply to any employee at a medical facility, not just physicians, nurses and other practitioners.

In addition, opponents contend that these employees would not be required to refer patients to providers who would offer the relevant services and could even turn patients away without notifying their own supervisors.

If the regulation isn’t blocked by the court, it would take effect tomorrow.  In that case, the Obama Administration or Congress would have to make regulatory or legislative changes to the policy.  

The Real Leonard Lance Is Really Anti-Woman and Anti-Birth Control

Cross-posted at The Real Leonard Lance

On the campaign trail, Leonard Lance claims to be pro-choice ? but the Real Leonard Lance?s record in Trenton proves he doesn?t even believe in a woman?s right to birth control.

Here in New Jersey, a bill was proposed in the Assembly to establish a pharmacy?s duty to provide in-store drugs and prescriptions without delay, regardless of the sincerely held moral or religious beliefs of pharmacists. The bill passed and was signed into law in 2007. Leonard Lance is one of only six State Senators that voted against this law. That?s right ? The Real Leonard Lance voted to restrict a woman?s right to access basic health care needs like birth control. When confronted with his vote against the basic health care needs of women, he said women should be forced to drive from pharmacy to pharmacy in order to get their prescriptions.

The truth is that you can?t be pro-choice and vote for a bill that will allow a pharmacy to refuse to fill a prescription for birth control. That?s the essence of what this is all about. Once again, the Real Leonard Lance’s record is at odds with his poll-tested persona.

Over the past eight years, President Bush and Republicans in Washington have launched an assault on women’s health care. A key component of their campaign against choice was a proposal to force health care providers to certify that none of its employees would be required to assist with medical services they find objectionable. One of these medical services is birth control. You see, Leonard Lance’s record in Trenton is in lockstep with Bush and his right-wing cronies in Washington. It’s clear that the Real Leonard Lance would go to Congress and be right at home among anti-women zealots.

We need leaders in Washington who will fight to ensure we may all make our own choices in life. The Real Leonard Lance would continue to hinder women and families from making their own informed choices about their health. We can’t afford The Real Leonard Lance in Washington. He would simply give the Bush Administration a third term.

Merry Christmas – Your Daughter Won’t Graduate

I know we’re supposed to be all focused on the “reason for the season”.  But as I’ve tried to focus on Advent this year, it occurs to me that the real reason for Christmas – even if you’re a Christian (especially if you’re a Christian) – isn’t the birth of a baby, but the incredible, revolutionary social liberation that baby would preach as a grown man.  So, if you’ll forgive me, the reason for Christmas is to remind us that we fall so very short of what we could be.

Over at the Star-Ledger, I sounded out about the lingering effects of the Republican Party’s party in DC.  When the pro-life movement overlaps the anti-feminist reactionaries, our daughters, sisters, and mothers pay the price.  This year, they are paying the price by losing access to cheap contraception on college campuses that allow women to control their own destiny.