Brian McNicoll

 

Our most-pro-abortion president ever is at it again.

As Tony Perkins, my fellow Louisianan and ally in the culture wars, pointed out on Wednesday, the federal government, as part of ObamaCare, is preparing to require that all private insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization services, including drugs that can cause abortions, such as Plan B and Ella, at no cost to the patient.

This means we’ll all pay more in premiums, co-pays and other associated costs so women can be assured of receiving these “free” services. And all organizations that provide health insurance to their employees will be forced to cover such services, even if they object on moral grounds. We’ll also pay more in taxes, so government itself can comply.

The regulation does provide a limited exception for employees of churches, but organizations such as Catholic Charities – which clearly are religious in nature – are not included. Perkins is pushing to expand the definition of “religious organization” and perhaps later to question whether requiring coverage of these abortion-inducing drugs violates the Hyde Amendment.

But much more about this is objectionable, and Perkins is correct that conservatives need to join together and stop this now.

The right tends to divide into two camps on these issues. One camp says no to abortion, no to contraception, no to STD prevention, diagnosis or treatment on religious grounds.

The other camp says no to getting bogged down in culture war skirmishes that chase away suburban voters. Its strategy – displayed earlier this year in the battle over funding for Planned Parenthood – is to turn the anti-religious nature of the left against it, to extract concession after concession from a President Obama desperate not to disappoint is pro-abortion allies.

I call today for formation of a third camp – one that says, “If we’re ever going to require a shred of personal responsibility on the part of Americans, let’s start by requiring they pay for their own sex.”

Food is a necessity. Conservatives may grouse about food stamps and poverty programs, but none want to turn our cities into little Calcuttas, with thousands of desperately hungry people begging in the streets. Healthcare falls under the same rubric. Few love the present system, but fewer still want to see people with immediate and acute health problems denied care.

But sex is not a necessity. Nothing requires us to do it. If you wish to engage in it, fine. But you pay the bill. You pay for your own abortions – by pill or procedure. You pay for your own contraceptives, your own STD prevention, diagnosis and treatment. And you pay for any dysfunction or other health problems that arise out of it.

This is not about imposing one set of morals or another on the country. This is about establishing a starting point for fiscal restraint – the first lesson of which is “If you can’t afford it, don’t do it.”

One problem is we’ve always treated sex policy – and that’s what this is – differently than all other policy areas. Most of us agree high school students should not engage in sex or smoke, drink or do drugs.

How do we handle this? With smoking, we show pictures of the lungs, throats and mouths of cancer-stricken smokers. We talk of emphysema, heart and lung disease and how tobacco robs us of our youth. With drinking, we play up stories of alcohol abuse leading to death, disease and addiction. With drugs, we show addicts at or near the end of their journeys into miserable death. We talk about the despair, the separation from friends and families, the lies and financial ruin.

But with sex, which is not any more inevitable than the others, we say, “You shouldn’t do it, but you probably will, so here are some things you need to know.” We show them how to do it and how to put a condom on a banana. We discuss “alternate strategies,” such as mutual masturbation and showering together … like those won’t lead to anything further. In some cases, we actually distribute birth control in the schools.

And don’t come at me about the dangers of not doing these things. The human race figured out how to reproduce long before government jumped in to help. And studies consistently have shown that the more we distribute contraceptives, “services” and “information” on sex, the more we reap in STDs, out-of-wedlock births and other bad outcomes.

Now, government is saying since it encourages this damaging behavior, it figures it owes us to pay for the damage.

So why don’t we stop government from encouraging teen sex? How about no more condoms on the banana, no more wink-and-nod sex-ed classes, no more showing people how to do things more than 90 percent of their parents don’t want them to do?

Then, we won’t owe for abortion. For contraceptives. For STD prevention, diagnosis or treatment. There’s a bargain we all can support. 


Brian McNicoll

Brian McNicoll is a conservative columnist and freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va.