Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The stupidity of state policies, not explained

Check out the title, and the first few paragraphs of the story below from WaPo's Ceci Connolly (emphasis mine):

Unintended Pregnancy Linked to State Funding Cuts
At a time when policymakers have made reducing unintended pregnancies a national priority, 33 states have made it more difficult or more expensive for poor women and teenagers to obtain contraceptives and related medical services,according to an analysis released yesterday by the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute.

From 1994 to 2001, many states cut funds for family planning, enacted laws restricting access to birth control and placed tight controls on sex education, said the institute, a privately funded research group that focuses on sexual health and family issues.

The statewide trends help explain why more than half of the 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended and offer clues for tackling problems associated with teenage pregnancy and abortion, said researchers who specialize in the field.

"The most powerful and least divisive way to decrease abortion is to reduce unintended pregnancy," said Sarah Brown, director of the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. "If we can make progress reducing unintended pregnancy, we can make enormous progress reducing abortion."

Yeah, duh. And yet it needs to be said, especially in our current atmosphere of credulousness when it comes to the causes of unintended pregnancies and what passes for sex education and family planning services in this country, generally.

What's most remarkable to me about this article is that 1) in her headline, Ceci attributes the rise in unintended pregnancies solely to budget cuts, when the institute that did the study clearly also cites restrictive laws and controls on sex ed as contributing factors as well, and 2) Ceci adopts a tone of general befuddlement as to why states would be moving backword in these so-called policymaker goals, when a few well-placed dollars would go far toward solving the problem.

Yeah, huh, Ceci, why would it be that states are placing restrictions on access and education to birth control, especially when those things don't necessarily cost money? Why is that? If I read your article, I would have not fucking clue.

But unlike our president, I read the papers. And unlike you, Ceci, I'm not afraid to say why states are, against their own best interests, enacting laws with consequences that increase unintended pregnancies.

Conservative Christians.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but they are against people fucking. Especially women. They really don't like women fucking - for pleasure, that is. C'mon we've talked about this.

And they have been fairly successful at getting laws passed that attempt to impose their own morality on other people.

Look, abstinence programs do not work. We know this. It does not work to keep teenagers in the dark about birth control. On the Federal level, BushCo is allowed to continue to push these programs as if they do work, and there is no peep from the press.

And the FDA has stalled RU486 for none other but political reasons. The "morning after pill" was denied over-the-counter status for none other but political reasons.

And if you look within the data in the study Ceci cites, you can see the repercussions of these actions.

And yet Ceci can't seem to connect the dots.

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