Here comes a big controversial topic. To start it off I'll go ahead and say that personally I do not, and never will, support an abortion in any case except to save the life of the mother. The use of birth control is a personal choice; however there is NO REASON that other people should be forced to pay for someone else to be able to use it. If you want it you can get condoms at any corner store and birth control is around $9-20 a month at your nearest Walgreen's/Rite-Aid/etc, over the counter in most cases. Pay for it out of your own dang pocket.
On to the topic at hand.
Birth Control is good for the health of the woman. True and False. Yes, using birth control can help to alleviate various problems like cramping and bloating, along with pain and hot flashes during menopause. There are also several studies out on the various effects of oral contraceptives (OCs) in particular that show a decrease in ovarian and endometrial cancers with a continual decrease in risk of contracting those particular cancers the longer the woman uses OCs. However there are also studies that show an increase in breast and cervical cancer from using OCs.
Now, maybe it's just me, but I'm more willing to accept the findings of non-politically motivated groups like the National Cancer Institute and Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer over a group with a name like Women’s Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences that sounds to me like all the "free love" and "have sex whenever and however much you want" types. On top of that the annual death rate to Breast and Cervical cancer is higher than the combined rate of Ovarian and Endometrial (Uterine). So while reducing the rates of those Ovarian and Uterine (approx 20,100in 1994 with a steadily decreasing rate since, due to early diagnosis) is definitely important, the death rate for Breast cancer alone is over 39,000 a year, on average (that means it sometimes goes even higher). So let's think about that for a minute.
Next you have the fact that many of the women on birth control don't even use it right, and when they do they STILL get pregnant. OCs does not prevent women from getting STDs at all, yet women on OCs tend to be more sexually active. Condoms may reduce the risk, but they do not eliminate it, nor do they always work to prevent pregnancy if they aren't used correctly. The only way to prevent both, ABSTINENCE. Just want to avoid the STDs? STICK TO ONE PARTNER YOU KNOW IS CLEAN INSTEAD OF SLEEPING AROUND.
Those last two sentences apply to guys too; you're not guilt free, no matter how much of an uncaring jerk you are.
To add to the above, and leading into the next topic, here is a good read for you on sexual activity among US teenagers (15-19).
Let's start the abortion topic with a fun couple of statements from the above document. For teens, 15 percent of births in 1960 were to unmarried mothers, but that rate rose to 78 percent by 1997. Moreover, racial differences in teen births are dramatic. Currently, virtually all births to black teens are nonmarital.
Yes, you read that right, in 1997 78 percent of births to teens 15-19 were to unmarried mothers. On the plus side, the document also shows that the abortion rate has gone back down to around 50/51 per 1,000 women 15-19 after it reached 62 per 1,000 in 1991.
Now let's get to all the nasty stuff that can occur with an abortion, then we'll get to what can happen if the woman (or girl) chooses to carry the child to term.
Yes, I linked to 3 different places on the same topic, just to prove that it isn't a single agency or politically motivated group that sees the possible nasty side effects from having an abortion, AND none of the above links even mention the fact the woman is ending the life of an innocent human child. Scientifically speaking, no matter what your opinion of right or wrong on the topic, at the moment of conception that is a human life.
It's always amused me (in a dark fashion) that people are readily willing to admit that the moment an animal is found to be pregnant that the offspring is immediately recognized as a life, but for some reason in humans there are arguments on both sides. If you follow the biological scientific fact that there is a human life at conception then it is not just the responsibility of the mother and father of the child, but also the responsibility of the government, to protect that life.
Anyone remember the line "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (emphasis mine) in the Declaration of Independence? Maybe Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution where it mentions in Clause 1 the responsibilities of Congress to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"? It is in the best interest of the country not to kill off any possible offspring of its citizens since you need people to ensure the continuation of our society.
So many people are concerned about the rights of the mother, but they refuse to acknowledge the rights of the father, let alone the rights of the unborn child. Many of these are the same people that tend to scream about how wrong it is to kill this or that animal or tree, but they'd never dream of suggesting that the father has rights to determine the future of that child, or trying to say that the child has a right to live just as much as the mother does. If there is no medical danger to the mother, what possible reason is there not to carry to term?
I'm perfectly okay with the government getting involved in paying for orphanages or foster homes for children born to parents who did not want them, or those with no relatives that can or are willing to take care of them (though I still believe that charities and other private organizations would do a better job). Paying to make sure those children live to become productive adults is in the best interest of the society. We should make it easier to adopt children raised in places that receive government funds. Any such places should be required to adhere to whatever rules the government puts in place such as non-discrimination, etc because they are accepting government money. Entirely private organizations should be allowed to determine their own criteria because they are private organizations.
On top of that, mothers unwilling to keep a child should be pointed to organizations willing to help them financially if necessary in order to allow her to carry that child to term. This should be done by the doctors or the hospital. It's not exactly costly to say a few words or hand over a pamphlet with more information.
Without a very accurate, and most likely insanely expensive, system to track every American's tax money, there is no way for the government to ensure that federal/state funds spent on abortions are not those collected from citizens who have a religious or person belief against such a procedure. THAT is why it is a violation of their First Amendment rights for the government to provide such funds. THAT is why it is a violation of peoples' First Amendment rights to issue the HHS mandate that Kathleen Sebelius did (regardless of how one feels about her personally).
Healthcare companies will increase theirpremiums to cover the increased cost of having to provide birth control (a PREVENTITIVE should not be required as part of INSURANCE coverage) and abortions.
Who do you think pays for those premiums? Why, the employer and all of their employees of course! Also, what happens when the insurance company IS the employer? Believe it or not there are companies that choose to cover the entire cost of various medical procedures themselves instead of going through an outside agency. Some of them are even owned, run, and/or staffed by people of a particular religious or moral belief system that would be violated by being UNCONSTITUTIONALLY FORCED by the government to cover birth control and abortions.
The article over at NBC on the recent defeat of the Blunt Amendment shows just how lacking in logical thought some of the supporters of the mandate actually are. Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood said, "This is an important victory. Today’s vote says that your boss won’t be able to decide which prescriptions you can get filled and which medical procedures you can have." But either she is really dense, or purposely ignoring the other half of that argument. What about the employers rights to be able to decide what prescriptions he is willing to pay for for his employees? Until Obamacare there was NO legal requirement for an employer to provide health coverage to their employees. Many of them did, but that was their choice to do so. Companies that didn't cover their employees generally gave them higher wages instead. Now many companies are being forced to lower wages to be able to comply with this ludicrous law that people are STILL finding new things in.
Also, regarding the individual mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). It is unconstitutional on a couple grounds. 1) The one they are using to bring it to the Supreme Court right now; is that it requires a US citizen to purchase a product. There is not one single line in the entire Constitution or its Amendments that gives the government the power to demand a citizen purchase a product. If the government is finally acknowledging that there are too many freeloaders in the system (something they never said with words, but is easily and logically implied) then the problem is with the rules of their system and enforcement of those rules, or the system itself. Personally I think the entire Medicare, Social Security, Welfare, and Medicaid programs need to be revamped at the very least, or tossed out the window and replaced with a better system that people can opt into now if they are above a certain age (50ish), and anyone under that age gets lumped into the new system.
2) One of the excuses provided by the current administration is that the government has the power to force people to purchase insurance because of the interstate commerce clause. There is a rather large glaring fatal problem with this argument. Not all Health Insurance companies are cross-state corporations. All of the branches may be a part of a larger company; however each branch in each state is technically independent of the whole. They have their own coverage items, their own prices, and their own customer databases (generally shared amongst the whole however). Of course, the exception to this is the government health insurance companies, but even the ones providing coverage to the government are regional rather than national. So where exactly is the interstate commerce again?