Home > Legal Issues, Solution-Problem > The birth control mandate taken to its logical conclusion

The birth control mandate taken to its logical conclusion

In an article at Reason yesterday, Jacob Sullum explicates further the point that poor women are nothing but a red herring in the birth control mandate debate:

Supporters of Obama’s birth control rule conflate liberty with subsidies, insisting that you are not really free to do something (in this case, use contraceptives) unless it’s free. According to this logic, observant Jews do not have religious freedom unless the government pays for their kosher food, bloggers do not have freedom of speech unless taxpayers buy them computers, and Americans in general do not have a right to keep and bear arms if they have to pay for guns with their own money. By contrast, the religious institutions that object to the contraceptive mandate are not asking for subsidies; they are resisting them. They object to a regulation that forces them to pay for products and services they consider immoral.

Of course, you should read the whole thing. And again, this elaborates on my previous point that this is not limited to a religious issue.  Even if you are completely secular, you should be appalled at this mandate, because the injustice applies to you as well.

You may have no moral or emotional problem with paying for other people’s birth control, but consider the implications of the precedent. If birth control must be paid for by others because women are to “be free” to choose to use birth control, then by the same logic, it is absolutely proper that you be forced to pay for a new church building for Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps. Why? He must “be free” to worship as he chooses and he may or may not be able to afford a new church building on his own.

Ultimately, if you have a problem with people’s access to birth control, donate to those organizations that widen said access. You have no claim on the property of other people, and you may not force them to subsidize things they choose not to. This holds regardless of which things are to be subsidized.

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