Republicans love to talk about how they’re “pro-life,” especially when it means getting their conservative religious base riled up ahead of an election. Last year here in Louisiana, billboards up and down Interstate 10 proclaimed that Mary Landrieu had a “100 percent pro-abortion voting record” even though that was pretty far from the truth. You’d think that they’d be all about reducing the rate of abortions here in the United States, but apparently not.
Now in Colorado, supposedly “pro-life” and “fiscally conservative” Republicans have rejected a plan to make free contraception available to women, even though the plan would have saved a lot of money on Medicaid.
The San Juan Basin Health Department, which includes La Plata and Archuleta counties, provided 513 long-acting reversible contraceptives since 2009. Including the other eight counties that surround Durango, a total of 3,207 contraceptives have been provided. Statewide, about 30,000 women have received the contraceptives through the program since 2009.
Supporters of the bill say it actually prevents abortions, with state health officials estimating that the program would prevent about 4,300 abortions per year. They also point out that for every $1 invested in low-cost contraception, Colorado taxpayers save about $5.85 in Medicaid costs.
IUDs act as a hormonal barrier, making it unlikely that there would be implantation of a fertilized egg. But in rare cases, the egg can become fertilized even with the device, despite it stopping the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. That issue has driven much of the opposition to the bill, with critics saying the device induces abortion. (Source)
Aside from the utter stupidity and pandering these lawmakers are engaging in, they also fail to understand that preventing pregnancies from happening in the first place actually makes the abortion rate go down, not up. However, we’re talking about a coalition of religious conservatives who believe, among other things, that sex not for procreation is a sin and that even the use of a condom is an insult to their god who wants
white, conservative Christians people to procreate at a rate that rivals the Duggar family or the feral cats behind the local 7-11.
You may think that I’m joking, but unfortunately I have an ultra-conservative Catholic family member who makes a living teaching “Natural Family Planning” and is currently writing a book on the subject. This same family member and their spouse are also influential anti-abortion activists and Bobby Jindal supporters, and yes, it creates some awkward moments whenever we have family gatherings. The prevailing attitude seems to be that contraceptives are the same as abortions, even though contraceptives prevent pregnancies to begin with. Something, something “messing with God’s plan” something, something “liberals just want to kill babies and get off on performing abortions” – and so the conversation goes.
That reasoning was explained by an attorney representing the religious conservatives who opposed the funding.
“Coloradans oppose the imposition of these kinds of mandates on us as individuals. There are religious reasons,” said Michael Norton, an attorney representing Colorado Family Action, who once served as the U.S. attorney for Colorado. “These contraceptives are abortifacients, that is they cause the demise of an implanted or fertilized human embryo.” (Source)
On Colorado Family Action’s website, their foundation’s mission statement is listed as, “Provides research and education dedicated to empowering Colorado citizens to advocate for God’s design for life, marriage, and religious freedom.” These are clearly people who believe that there is a supernatural being that has a master plan and that plan forbids all of us from taking control of our lives, because their invisible friend in the sky who apparently is just fine with them ignoring the poor is more concerned over the fate of a fertilized human egg than making sure the poor are clothed or kept from going hungry.
Colorado isn’t a deep red state and has actually become more progressive over the past few years, so how is it that extremists like Colorado Family Action are getting their way in the state legislature? It’s simple really – they vote. Sure, the far right doesn’t always get the candidates they want, but in the general elections, they still turn out to vote. Unfortunately this is a lot more than what can be said for some people on the left who refuse to vote because they didn’t get all the hope and change they were expecting from President Obama – or because they can’t come to terms with the fact that Elizabeth Warren is not running in 2016. This is why in state after state, the far right has been passing laws undoing decades of progress. When we don’t vote, they win. It’s as simple as that.
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