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Why Is Obama Offering All Women Free Sterilization?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
No previous president ever promoted a giveaway more peculiar than Barack Obama's mandate that all health care plans must offer free sterilizations to all women -- but not all men -- capable of breeding.

This mandate is Obama's defining act as president -- just as his adamant opposition to a bill that would have defined a born baby as a "person" was his defining act as an Illinois state senator.

Obama's Department of Health and Human Services proposed the mandate last August and finalized it in January. It takes effect Aug. 1.

The mandate says health care plans must provide without cost-sharing "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."

So, what does sterilization do to a woman? And why does Obama want all women "with reproductive capacity" to be offered one for free?

Specifically, sterilization mutilates part of a woman's body so it can no longer carry out its natural and healthy function.

By analogy, if a doctor severed a woman's optic nerve her eyes would no longer see. Here, a doctor severs a woman's fallopian tubes so her womb can no longer conceive a child.

Obama manifestly believes offering this particular mutilation free of charge to all women -- but not men -- is good. But why?

Human beings often sterilize dogs and cats, presumably because they do not believe canines and felines can develop disciplined reproductive habits and they see the proliferation of puppies and kittens as bad. But when human beings fix dogs and cats, they do not focus exclusively on one gender. Male dogs and cats are at least as likely as females to get their reproductive organs short-circuited.


Does the Obama administration look at women -- but not men -- as creatures akin to dog and cats? Does it believe women lack the hearts and minds and souls to fully control the destiny of their own families? Do they see the proliferation of human babies as bad?

After Obama signed Obamacare, his Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a federally funded committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend a "preventive services" regulation for women.

In its subsequent report, this committee explained its recommendation for what became the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate in an eight-page section titled, "Preventing Unintended Pregnancy and Promoting Healthy Birth Spacing."

It takes an elitist -- if not eugenic -- perspective on the human race

Here, in part, is how the committee defined the problem needing to be solved: "Although one in 20 American women has an unintended pregnancy each year, unintended pregnancy is more likely among women who are aged 18 to 24 years and unmarried, who have a low income, who are not high school graduates, and who are members of a racial or ethnic minority."

Here, in part, is how it defined what puts women at risk. "The risk factors for unintended pregnancy are female gender and reproductive capacity." (Now, we know why they think women -- not men -- are the problem: Women become mothers, bearing children in their wombs.)


Here, in part, is how the committee defined the solution: "In a study of the cost-effectiveness of specific contraceptive methods, all contraceptive methods were found to be more cost-effective than no method, and the most effective methods were long-acting contraceptives that do not rely on user compliance. The most common contraceptive methods used in the United States are the oral contraceptive pill and female sterilization."

Then, it pointed to a complication: "Cost barriers to use of the most effective contraceptive methods are important because long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods and sterilization have high up-front costs."

Then the committee delivered its punch line: "The elimination of cost sharing for contraception therefore could greatly increase its use, including the use of the more effective long-acting methods, especially among poor and low-income women more at risk for unintended pregnancy."

Obama's HHS adopted without change the committee's recommendation to require health care plans to offer free contraception and sterilization to all women of "reproductive capacity." The committee defined "reproductive capacity" as being "from the time of menarche to menopause."

Why didn't the administration adjust the sterilization mandate to limit its reach only to women who had attained the age of, say, 21 or 35, or who had already borne two or three or even four children?


The Catholic Church has famously objected to this regulation pointing out that it forces Catholics and Catholic institutions to pay for sterilizations, artificial contraceptives and abortions -- all of which the church teaches are intrinsically wrong.

Why didn't the administration adjust the regulation to exempt people who would be forced to act against their religion and their conscience if they obeyed it?

Yes, insisting that a born baby was not a person defined Barack Obama as a state senator, and this sterilization mandate will define Obama as a man, a president and a historical figure.

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