After Republican caterwauling about contraception funding in the stimulus last month, Obama and Pelosi took it out despite evidence that it was stimulating. Now there's also evidence that family planning saves the government money.
The contraception "funding" in the stimulus was actually just a piece of language that would allow states to quit writing long waiver applications to get Medicaid funding to cover contraception for low income women in the same way they already cover pre-natal care. But over the past few years, 27 states had already spent the time and money to get the waivers, and a new Guttmacher Institute report shows why:
Report co-author Rachel Benson Gold called the family planning program "smart government at its best," asserting that every dollar spent on it saves taxpayers $4 in costs associated with unintended births to mothers eligible for Medicaid-funded natal care.
But there's more!
Surveying data from the 2006 fiscal year, the report says the national family planning program prevented 1.94 million unintended pregnancies, including almost 400,000 teen pregnancies. Based on statistical analysis and projections, these pregnancies would have resulted in 860,000 unintended births, 810,000 abortions and 270,000 miscarriages, according to the report.
Without publicly funded family planning, it said, the U.S. abortion rate would be nearly two-thirds higher, and nearly twice as high among poor women.
That's right, try to contain your shock: helping poor women obtain and afford prescription birth control helps them keep from getting pregnant when they don't want to be.
The Family Research Council just thinks poor people should stop having sex if they are not married and don't want to have kids, though.
[Tony Perkins,Family Research Council President] also expressed concern about the concept of public funding of contraception for unmarried people.
"The issue is whether taxpayers should fund, and thereby encourage, behavior that's risky and morally questionable," he said.
That's right: if you're poor, single and getting it on, you are "morally questionable" and the government should not try to help you with your reproductive choices lest doing so encourages you to have more sex. In addition, despite the fact that, these days, conservatives are all about reducing government spending to the point that they almost all refused to vote for the stimulus, they will in no way fund a program that reduces government spending if it means that morally questionable poor women will be able to afford the birth control that the wives and daughters of Republican politicians can easily afford. Translation: Their ideology about your uterus is far more important than their rhetoric about your tax dollars.