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Shock: Contraceptive funding sound economic policy

Davidson's picture

Many, including "progressive" bloggers, insisted that it was acceptable for Obama to remove contraceptive funding from the stimulus bill, particularly if it could get GOP votes. Besides the fact that such a move rendered zero GOP votes, appeasing the GOP is equivalent to begging to be shot in the head, and the selling out of poor women and girls has misogynistic overtones to it, the removal of this funding also took aim at the economy (Read the whole article).

House Republicans dogmatically refused to vote for any stimulus program that permitted states to fund contraception for Medicaid eligible citizens and those living off incomes just above the poverty level. This policy will lead to more unplanned pregnancies (with the associated abortions) and will block billions of dollars in savings.

To understand how this works, it is helpful to look at California's experience with a state-funded contraception and family planning initiative for women with incomes between 100% and 200% of the poverty level:

Four years after implementing the program, California saved an estimated $500 million in public health care spending, net of what they spent on the program itself. In fact, for every dollar invested in the program, the state of California saved an estimated $5.33, for every dollar spent, over a period of five years. These are conservative estimates that do not include money saved through increased productivity and cost savings from reductions in paid medical leave and sick days that result from unplanned pregnancies. Few other public spending plans can boast such a positive return on investment.

So what's their excuse now? Just as the GOP isn't really concerned about reducing abortions, but instead focused on reducing the basic rights of women and girls, I fear that "progressives" who sell out poor women and girls aren't really doing it for "pragmatic" reasons.

I know Obama might get family planning funds done as early as next week, but on economic grounds alone it was beyond foolish to remove them from the stimulus bill in the first place--even if it was the only thing preventing GOP approval he doesn't even need.

UPDATE: May I also add that when news broke that the CIA offered Afghan warlords Viagra in exchange for so-called intelligence (How's that war working out by the way?), there was hardly the level of dismissive scorn put on such "wasteful" spending by the GOP or the media. Again, we're talking about helping men all but certainly rape women and, particularly, girls. So, funding rapes in a war we're set to lose: eh. Funding contraceptives for poor women and girls: silly shit.

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pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Funny you should ask.

I'm sick to death of everyone with a special interest just throwing all common sense and the rest of the country to the 4 winds in favor of their own narrow vision.
Will you let the man try to keep this country from going completely into an economic tailspin? Jesus Christ - this is absurd. It does not have to be in a bailout bill. It can come separately if it's a problem but Obama keeps trying to tell us that we 're all going to have to make sacrifices and compromises and concessions if we're going to turn this thing around.
It's not as if there are no contraceptives available to low income women - there are. At the moment there are a lot of people with a lot more at stake here than cheap birth control, which is available already.

Anyway, I was happy to learn that Obama may very well be addressing this next week. Actually, doing something!!!

Swoon (sorry, private joke).

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

By "people" he (I take it the comment was written by a man) means, "men." That's what it always means: the rights of women and girls just don't matter. It's always a trivial, silly thing. To think that poor women and girls in danger of becoming pregnant don't have a very high stake in this is beyond absurd. And he's of course wrong about "cheap birth control" already being "available:" condoms, which I assume he's talking about, costs money, which of course these women and girls don't have, and they're dependent upon males to be used correctly, which is why contraceptives are much better.

There was a slew of programs the GOP could have marked as "wasteful" and yet they chose this because it works. Not only that, I'm guessing they suspected there would be intolerant asshats on the so-called left who would rationalize this.

Even if Obama gets funding by Monday, the fact he removed it in the first place and that, once again, misogyny pops up across the blogosphere is depressing. I guess we know whose rights will be the first on the table don't we?

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

As I said in my post. I know full well that women and girls can also be intolerant and hateful, hence my reply about "MoDo feminism," if that's what you're getting at. I just thought it was a dude, the norm. That's all.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

I'll email you (later - I'm at work now.)

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

That's what pisses me off: he didn't have to do this at all. And it looks like neither Obama nor the Democrats will be putting the funding back in the stimulus bill, which they should to stick it to the GOP and protect poor women and girls. Again, it sends a bad signal to people to show that one group's rights are up for free. Even if funding is passed next week, you can't unring the bell.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

What if this is something sent out to test the response levels it receives?

Worse yet, what if it's a diversion?

I don't know. I can't say.

I do know I think the GOP and the Religious Reich have been so enmeshed in collusion so long, most DC pols don't think they can get anywhere without at least a symbolic kowtow.

Sadly, I remind myself, this President is also a politician.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Health care reform? If the GOP is so batshit that their entire House membership would vote against the stimulus plan even after all those concessions, there's no reasoning with them, especially on something considered remotely "progressive." Even if it was intended as some sort diversion, which I doubt, the story was about how zero Republicans voted for it. Even the tax cuts got more coverage.

With regards to symbolic appeasement: the rabid right already got Warren at the inauguration. When it comes to the economy, Obama and the Democrats can't afford to mess around.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

If the GOP is so batshit that their entire House membership would vote against the stimulus plan even after all those concessions, there's no reasoning with them,

If? what is this "if" of which you speak?


No -- the bait is for the left / women. How much crap will the left / women swallow on this, without making further craptacularity unsafe?

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

As usual, I'm not holding my breath. But if family planning funds do go through, I can't help wondering if it's because some groups made a big fuss. I understand even NOW finally spoke up (yesterday, too late to make a difference in the stimulus bill, and certainly without a scintilla of criticism of The One).

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

they'll toss us under the bus...for *nothing.* because they can. because it's "funny." because it scores points in some Village social hierarchy. because it makes various closet case and misogynist micopenii less limp. because Evil is its own reward.

i'm still waiting for the proof that sucking up to homophobes made some sort of huge electoral difference. now, we see that poor sluts who can't keep their legs closed are the next easy target for the crowd in the Village that gets off on knowing people will suffer due to their games. Who's next? there's a long list of potential candidates: students, Muslim and Arab-Americans, the elderly, "entitlement" beneficiaries...

i guess we just have to wait before the majority "progressive" population in this country realizes: He's just not into you. but they will.

Submitted by jawbone on

Afghan tribal they can better "interact" with their "much younger" wives.

From Melissa at Shakespeare's Sister

Oh, and the men are give physicals before being given the Viagra, to ensure they're physically sound enough for the stress.... No mention of physicals for the wives.

So, here we are in Afghanistan 1) providing prescription sexual stimulus for chieftains and 2) also providing healthcare.

C'mon, Repubs--get all indignant on this, OK? Demand that this be stricken from the CIA's budged, NOW. Bcz it's part of your principles, right?

Melissa contrasts this report with Krugman's pointing out that the US will be the only industrialized nation where the economic disaster will also mean loss of healthcare, which can be an added disaster.