Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mizzou Madness, Part II

A couple of weeks ago, The DrewL Bucket noted that the Missouri legislature was interested in passing a law that would make Christianity the state's official religion.

Well, if that wasn't wacky enough, now the Missouri legislature has voted to ban birth control from state-funded county health clinics. We're not talking abortion here. We're talking birth control.

The House voted 96-59 to delete the funding for contraception and infertility treatments after Rep. Susan Phillips told lawmakers that anti-abortion groups such as Missouri Right to Life were opposed to the spending.

"If you hand out contraception to single women, we're saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that," Phillips, R-Kansas City, said in an interview.

That's right, not only is the "moral minority" outlawing access to birth control, but they're also trying to stamp out sexual promiscuity. Are these people on crack?!

At least some in Missouri have a clue.

Others, including some lawmakers who described themselves as "pro-life," said it was illogical for anti-abortion lawmakers to deny money for contraception to low-income people who use public health clinics.

"It's going to have the opposite effect of what the intention is, which will be more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions," said Rep. Kate Meiners, D-Kansas City.

The other alternative is for low-income women to give birth to more children, which is only likely to drive up the state's costs to provide services to them, said Democratic Rep. Melba Curls, also of Kansas City.

The nutty thinking of the right never ceases to amaze. They don't want people to have abortions, yet they pass laws almost ensuring that people will need to seek abortions now that they can't get access to birth control.

Perhaps the real motivation is to increase abortions, which have been declining in recent years. The right would lose a vital wedge issue if abortions were to go away. So, by banning access to birth control, they'll ensure that abortion can be an available political football for decades to come. Brilliant!

Then again, why is it that Missouri Republicans don't seem intelligent enough to have thought of that? No, I suspect they're just doing what many Republicans seem to be doing these days, namely telling others how to live their lives. Yes, that would be the Republicans who used to rail against government intrusion in people's lives. Apparently, that was just a facade.

Missouri Right to Life said it was concerned with the contraception language because it was loosely written and could have included emergency contraception - often referred to as the morning-after pill.

The Missouri Catholic Conference also opposed the birth control funding.

"State taxpayers should not be required to subsidize activities they believe are immoral or unethical, relating to contraceptives or abortions," said Larry Weber, executive director of the state Catholic Conference.

Their true colors are finally showing in the "Show Me State." And it doesn't paint a pretty picture.


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