Free-Contraception Bill Ain’t Free

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Once upon a time the Left in this country sought the freedom to do things that most other people thought were wrongheaded and immoral. Now, they want the rest of us to pay for it.

The free-contraception bill racing through the Massachusetts Legislature this week shows Beacon Hill at its worst both in procedure and in substance.

House Bill 4009 magically appeared Monday, November 6 from a previous bill that got a perfunctory hearing in early October filled with anti-facts and absurd assumptions.

Let’s start with the title of the bill, “An Act Relative to Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in Our State.”

Contraception doesn’t contribute to economic security in our state or anywhere else. By promoting an ethic of sex-without-consequences, it helps lead to divorce. And the single biggest predictor of poverty in the United States is a family headed by one parent instead of two.

It also encourages cohabitation, which for couples who end up marrying is also a predictor of divorce, which is a predictor of poverty.

Moreover, oral contraceptives cost around $20 to $50 a month – in other words, significantly less than what most people (including most poor people) spend on their cell phones. We aren’t exactly talking emergency appendectomy here. So even if we assumed that contraception isn’t socially destructive – which it is – then why must the rest of us pay for it?

The question almost provides its own answer. For a certain type of left-winger, it is necessary not only to win the freedom to do something but also to vanquish enemies. Forcing the government, and therefore taxpayers, to pay for something is like taking a victory lap.

Many people in Massachusetts claim to be fiscally conservative, socially liberal. For those of you who think that way, you’re welcome to join us fiscally conservative social conservatives any time.

But if you like where you’re at philosophically, then you, too, ought to be against this bill. At an estimated cost of between $1.9 million and $5.7 million a year – the hugeness of the range in the official projected cost ought to be a warning signal – it’d be a drag on the state budget and on health insurance premiums. It’s hardly fiscally conservative.

Which brings up a basic question:

Why do you need to pay for someone else’s birth control?