I am Pro Birth Control, Pro Liberty, and Anti Birth Control Mandate

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Our own Stone recently posted a pretty ballsy piece: Birth Control for Liberty In it, she makes several challenge-worthy assertions. I’m here to take on those challenges.

The first is that “A lot of the healthcare reform laws are actually good for personal liberty (though not necessarily corporate liberty).”

I’ll first point out that any violation of corporate liberty is a violation of personal liberty. Corporations don’t make decisions. People do. So any limit to a corporation’s decision making freedom is necessarily a limit on at least one person’s decision making freedom.

Stone then debunks the “taxpayer-funded birth control” myth. Which, good on her. It’s important that libertarian women, all women really, understand the actual mechanism of the birth control mandate in ObamaCare. The mandate forces employers, not taxpayers, to buy insurance plans that cover birthcontrol.

But then she claims that the mandate will save taxpayers a huge amount of money by reducing the number of unplanned children. “Giving women the opportunity to establish a career before having children also means fewer families on food assistance, TANF, et cetera.” This assertion is deeply problematic.

First, ObamaCare, and the mandate only applies to full-time employed women. Therefore, even if these women get pregnant because somehow without ObamaCare they can’t afford birth control even though they’re fully employed and it costs $4/month, they won’t go on federal assistance because they have full-time jobs and don’t quality.

Secondly because birth control, with or without ObamaCare, can already be obtained insanely cheaply yet unplanned pregnancies persist, there must be something more than access to and cost of birth control at play here.

Simply put, it defies common sense to assert that covering birth control for fully-employed women will have any appreciable effect whatsoever on welfare rolls.

But let’s go back to the myth versus the reality. ObamaCare forces employers to choose insurance plans that cover birth control. I think it’s pretty apparent that forcing someone to buy a product they find morally reprehensible is a huge violation of religious liberty.

I want to make clear that there is no judgement in that statement about the morality of birth control itself. But if we are to be defenders of the freedom to not buy products that violate our consciences, then we must stand in opposition to the birth control mandate in ObamaCare.

Stone’s argument is based on the presumption that mandating birth control will somehow reduce welfare pull, and that in doing so we are increasing liberty, despite the obvious obstructions to liberty the mandate poses. However, in the light that it is clearly impossible to lessen the welfare pull with the individual mandate, all we are left with is a violation of liberty.

Photos by DonkeyHotey

  • Stone

    I have to take issue with a couple of assertions…

    One, I challenge the assessment that a corporate restriction automatically implies a personal restriction on at least one person. Each member of a corporation has a voice as a voter, taxpayer, et cetera. A restriction on the corporation as an entity does not in any way infringe on that person’s individual right. By giving them a second voice as an entity, corporations drown out the right of individuals. Corporate personhood is fundamentally anti-liberty.

    Secondly, you state that birth control is available “insanely cheap” without nothing that that is, in face, a very limited number of birth controls. What about women who can’t or don’t want a hormone based medication? A paraguard IUD, prior to the healthcare law, was prohibitively expensive (hundreds or possibly even a thousand dollars depending on coverage). The studies clearly show that when birth control of ALL types are available at low or no cost (and not just a very limited selection), teen pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, and abortions go down.

    As for “forcing employers to buy it, not governments,” I also have to disagree. An employee pays for their health insurance by working and by (in most cases) a deduction from their payroll. The employer writing a business check allows employees (and the employer!) to buy insurance as a group and reduce their overall rate. This pulls the argument back to forcing Americans into another “tax” (forced healthcare purchase) which is another article.

    I will be addressing the religious liberty debate in my post next week. It was too long to include in my first post, but be assured that I do intend to address it.

    • Stone

      That should be “noting” not “nothing in paragraph three. >.<

    • ZoomZoomDiva

      While the subsidy the employer provides towards an employee’s health insurance is part of the employee’s overall compensation package, the employer should have some authority to choose the forms of compensation they wish to provide. That is an element of personal liberty, no matter what legal form the employer wishes to take.
      Insurance was never designed to cover every cost. Insurance is designed to protect the insured against unforeseen catastrophic expenses, while the individual should be expected to cover their own day to day operating expenses and maintenance. If auto insurance functioned like health care, it would be required to cover oil changes and detailing.
      Health insurance needs to return to that paradigm, where it is only required to cover catastrophic health care expenses and not every expense, particularly for health choices that do not qualify as health care… which would include contraception.

    • How is a government restriction on multiple people not a government restriction on at least one person again? Whether corporations are anti-liberty and the issue of corporate personhood are both totally beside the point. If you say a corporation can or can’t do something, you’re restricting the available, legal choices of the people who run it. Period.

      If you can link birth control prices (whether for generic pills or IUDs) to welfare rolls, show me the data.

      I’m confused about your third point. ObamaCare forces employers to provide health insurance if they have more than 50 employees. There is no tax or tax penalty. It’s a legal requirement.

  • Auntie_Social

    I thought you people were libertarians? No mandate from the government is consistent with libertarian thought.
    Buy your own damned insurance.

  • Gordon

    Despite what you said about corporate liberty mimicking personal liberty. It is wrong that a corporations religious liberty would be allowed to infringe on an individual’s personal decisions through the purchasing of plans with birth control. People are allowed to practice their religion in this country as long as it does not affect other people. Therefore the notion that corporations that are not religiously inclined to provide birth control are being infringed upon, is false.

    Corporations must do what is in the best interests of their shareholders, not the people they service, which is one reason why corporations should not be involved in healthcare at all.

    In terms of heathcare beyond birth control. Every possible treatment option should be available to every patient, it should be up to the patient and the patient’s doctor what treatments they believe in and what treatments they want.

    • People are free to practice their religion as long as it doesn’t violate any else’s rights. Affect is too low a threshold. And yes, could not agree more that corporations shouldn’t be involved in healthcare. Sadly, ObamaCare only further entrenches that relationship by taking it from a tax incentive-based relationship to one based on law.