Women and Reality.

Today I gave a short speech in front of several hundred people at a state political conference.  The atmosphere in the auditorium was charged.

While people attend these political party events for many reasons, there was one reason evident today that was putting an electrical jolt through this convention.  It was the denial of insurance coverage for birth control by religious organizations with federal contracts.

One might ask why this issue would trump so many others like taxes, education and so on.  This answer is in the math.

In a very large percentage of U. S. households, the woman earns more than the man.  In households were women earn less, the income they earn is often close and a crucial part of household income. Thus, both the man and the woman in the household are dependent on the woman’s income.

There are more young women in universities today than there are men.  These women fully expect to have professional careers after graduation.

There is one variable that must be controlled for women to play this huge role in the  economy of households, and in our economy.  It is the timing of the birth of children.

With the percentage of couples using artificial birth control in the high 90 percentile, and, both men and women dependent on it for their economic lives, it is not surprising the political atmosphere over birth control has its game face on.

Women in the workforce and family planning are not separate issues, they are the same issue.  That’s reality.

 

 

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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66 Responses to Women and Reality.

  1. Doubtful says:

    Working and transportation are the same issue, also, according to your logic. Does that mean I have a right to a car, provided at no cost by the federal government? Actually that is by everyone who pays taxes, of course, because government produces nothing and has no money. The issue is not contraception or women’s health. Democrats are being very deceptive about this and many other things. A little honesty would be nice, for a change.

  2. PK says:

    Doesn’t the Catholic Church offer natural birth control programs to their employees? My cousin worked for the State of ND last year and she couldn’t get birth control paid for by the insurance she was given through the state. She had to pay it all herself. Then she was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder and had to get off the birth control, but she found out it was a misdiagnosis when she was 4 months pregnant. Now she has an 8 month old girl. Kinda funny. My point is, the state doesn’t have to pay for it, so why should a private institution have to?

  3. Bob says:

    If birth control and the day after pill were allowed to be sold over the counter in any kind of business, the price of it would significantly be lowered, allowing almost anyone to have access to it.

    Cigarettes are sold over the counter, but we can’t have birth control over the counter? Nuts.

  4. entech says:

    I am assuming the issue is health insurance as part of an employment contract, part of the salary package. I am making a couple of assumptions, birth control means the supply or subsidising of contraceptive measures, insurance would cover the cost of childbirth – hospitalisation etc. loss of earnings while unable to work?

    Lots of assumptions being made here, but basically I am assuming that the cost of prevention is less than the cost of becoming a mother, if this is so the reasoning behind the lack of coverage must something other than cost.

    This insurance is being provided to paid employees, paid employees are tax payers, so why is there such an outcry from people like ‘Doubtful’ again the reason must be something other than financial.

    I am not an a resident, know little about it, and this is just an observation from the outside and a request for information.

    • Doubtful says:

      The issue is one of freedom. The government has no right to force any employer to provide a particular benefit, especially when it is morally repugnant to them. When they could not force that down people throats they switched to “the insurance companies have to provide it to everybody”. Do you actually think the insurance companies are going to pay for it? This is not a women’s rights issue. Contraceptives are available and no one is trying to make them illegal. This is dishonest politics. Not that the Democrats are any worse than Republicans in that respect but it is way past time for us to demand that our representatives be honest.

      • entech says:

        OK. Just that I am used to a quite different system. In Australia (similar in New Zealand, most of Europe and England) there is a kind of mutual benefit system there is a Medicare Levy (tax is as much a hated word here as anywhere, so the euphemisms creep in) every one puts in something like 1% of earnings and everyone gets basic health benefits, this includes subsidised medicines on doctors prescriptions (including contraceptive pills, as mentioned before cheaper than maternity costs) not all medicine is on the ‘benefit’ list but is readily available for the full cost and this full cost medicine includes emergency contraception (morning after pill), hospital treatment. This level of care is basic and for “elective” procedures there can be long waiting lists (such things as a knee replacement would be considered elective, heart complaints would be treated quickly). There is the option of private insurance which anyone that can afford it would be mad not to take up, I had two cataract procedures a year ago which cost me about $350 with insurance covering the rest, this was within a couple of months of my optometrist telling me to stop driving! a ‘public’ patient would probably wait 3 years, or more, I may be wrong but I think in the American system without insurance or private finance the procedure would just not happen.
        This system is so widely accepted that not even conservative governments would try to change it.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          entech 5:46 Your system sounds identical to the one just right up the road from us in ND, that in Canada. It sounds very rational, and as I understand it, more efficient in terms of its results and costs. The popular political thing to do here in the U. S. is to talk about things perceived to be negative, the waits for things like knee surgery, etc. In Canada, there are people who, for good reason, are reluctant to visit the U. S. because they fear having a medical problem and being forced to pay mind numbing costs here. I know personally U. S. citizens who have lived in Canada for many years, and who would like to return here as senior citizens, but will not do so because of our medical system.

          • entech says:

            I thought Canada might be another one with a “National Health Service”, or similar wording, most advanced economies do. I am always a little surprised that America is always so vehemently opposed. A country that so proudly and loudly declares itself to be a Christian nation turns out to be the antithesis of the ‘Good Samaritan’.

            Of course, I have no right to say who is right and who is wrong merely that I am a little surprised.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Doubtful 4:35 “The issue is one of freedom. The government has no right fo force any employer to provide a particular benefit, especially if it is morally repugant to them.”

        That it is about freedom is one spin. Another is, “The customer is always right.” In cases where church denominations are hired to do work for the federal government the government, with all the various political constituencies, is the customer. That’s why it is not dishonest for a political constituency, like those here at a Democrat Party Convention, to express opposition to another constituency who finds birth control “morally repugant.” You know as well as I do there is such a group within the Repulbican Party that is just as upset with the anti birth control branch of it’s party. There are Democrats, too, who support the anti birth control faction, but probably not many come to a Convention like this one.

        People can say something like, “Birth control is optional. People can buy it themselves at their local drug store.” To some degree this is correct, but in others it is not. Some kinds of birth control require monitoring physian prescriptions. I know a 13 year old girl well who is not sexually active–she does not seem to even talk to boys, let alone go anywhere with them. She is on a birth control medicine because her doctor thinks it will help another medical condition she has.

        The thing is, there are a boatload of medical issues someone else can call “optional.” But, when the “optional” label is put there by religious beliefs, and it involves public money and the views of voters, expect political opposition.

        The best thing for a “private group”, a church or business, to do if it does not what the government getting into its health insurance policies is to not do any any work for the government. But, of course, they make a lot of money doing this work so they want it both ways.

        • PK says:

          Why doesn’t the State of ND have to pay for birth control? I didn’t have anything unrelated in my previous post for you to digress on, so you just seemed to have ignored it all together.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            PK 2:05 I don’t know why ND doesn’t pay for it, but I assume it’s because of ND politics. Surely I don’t have to tell you ND voters are different that national voters.

          • PK says:

            Ok, well why isn’t that a big deal to you, but when a Christian hospital or other religious institution doesn’t it’s an outrage? It seems like more hypocrisy to add to the list from people like you. Not saying anyone else is any better, but i thought a freethinker is supposed to have it together.

        • Doubtful says:

          @ jon 1:34 “That it is about freedom is one spin. Another is, “The customer is always right.” ”

          Wrong. The argument of the people who do not want to allow an executive order to force employers to provide contraception is about freedom. The same argument applies to Obama’s change to “insurance companies must provide free contraception coverage” which is a myth in any case. The spin comes in from Democrats making political hay with this as a supposed “war on women” and talking as if someone has proposed making contraceptives illegal. Those are the facts of this case. You seem to think that the business axiom of “the customer is always right” takes precedence over the U.S. Constitution.

          There certainly are many Republicans who do not find birth control morally repugnant. There are also many Republicans and non-Republicans that find government encroaching on our freedoms repugnant.

          No one is forced to work for any particular organization and the negotiating of compensation is open so a person who feels strongly that they need insurance coverage for contraceptives should take that into account.

          You have presented the Democratic parties platform very clearly here. I hope others see how twisted it is and how it is based on the end justifying the means.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Doubtful 2:43 “Wrong. The argument of the people who do not want to allow an executive order to force employers to provide contraception is about freedom.”

            When someone tosses out the word “freedom”, I’m always interested in knowing freedom for who, at what cost, and when. Taken the number of people who use birth control, certain the majority of citizens must think it is a desirable part of what they expect in their lives. Morals, in reality, come from consensus of the public, not from the clergy. Their conclusion is the receive freedom by use of birth control–and–they want it in their health care package.

          • Doubtful says:

            @ Jon 3:12 I would say your definition of freedom as freedom from want is right in line with one of the more popular and ignorant definitions. The fact that people want something does not mean they are not free if they are not given it. The idea that women are not free unless they have free birth control makes a mockery of our whole society.

  5. Bob says:

    Some of the drugs you can buy on the shelves at the discount and grocery stores are more dangerous than birth control or day after pill.

  6. Bob says:

    http://misunderstoodfinance.blogspot.com/2012/03/make-birth-control-pills-available-over.html

    Very short article on why birth control should be available over the counter to any age females. Key word here, FEMALES. This is a female issue every bit as much as it is a female issue as when my wife picks out the kind of over the counter pads she uses when she has her period. What works for her as compared to other females. Its not a male issue anymore than what kind of jock straps men use is a female issue.

    • Doubtful says:

      This is an entirely separate issue from the one we have been discussing. I think you may be right that birth control pills should not require a prescription but that has nothing to do with this discussion. This is another symptom of the idea that the government must protect us from ourselves and that we are too stupid to be able to make our own decisions. Who is requiring a prescription?

  7. Bob says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/take-birth-control-battle-over-the-counter-commentary-by-virginia-postrel.html

    This article isn’t very long, but it is intelligent and explains very well why birth control should be over the counter available to all age females.

  8. Wanna B Sure says:

    I think it would be good/appropriate for a Doctor to come on here and explain the necessity for prescriptions and some monitering of, if not all, some of these hormonal birth controll/ abortificants. I am sure there can be some negative health results if not regularly monitored/controlled . Especially among those who have a hard time reading/ understanding directions. Right now as I type, there is an ad on TV advertising legal help for some ladies who have taken a whole family of birth controll drugs that have proven to be detremental to health. Doctors would have had an earlier heads up on the dangers of these, and I’m sure many changed the prescriptions to prevent this. Need I say more? I don’t think so. These shouldn’t be so flippantly distributed Bob.

  9. Bob says:

    We should also have then, a doctor come on here and explain all the dangers of over the counter drugs available, just to be fair.

  10. Bob says:

    And just to be fair Wanna, all those doctors explaining on here why birth control pills shouldn’t be over the counter, they should be female doctors.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      I wouldn’ care one way or the other. They all passed the test, and have a degree in medicine, which you don’t.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Let me add pharmacology, which also contains drug interaction, even considering over the counter drugs/alcohol, etc.

    • Doubtful says:

      @Bob 4:33 PM I find this post really annoying and ignorant. It assumes many things about others that you have no reason to assume. It tries hard to move the argument to one of others trying to control women’s rights and that was not at all related to this discussion and no one in this discussion was attempting to subvert women’s rights.

  11. Bob says:

    In the long run Wanna, you and your minions will loose this battle of wanting to control women’s reproduction. You just will, due to the internet and science.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      #1. I have no minions—–#2. Has nothing to do with reproduction. —– #3. Everything to do with science, and the effect of these drugs on the human body.

  12. Bob says:

    So then I can assume you are not against birth control for women?

  13. Bob says:

    I will have to assume that you are against women having access to birth control for themselves. So therefore, I’m sorry, but everything you post on this subject, will have little meaning to me.

  14. Wanna B Sure says:

    Looks like little Bobbie ran back into the house, and doesn’t want to play anymore.

  15. Bob says:

    I don’t know what you want, Wanna.

  16. Wanna B Sure says:

    And a radical ideologue at that.

  17. Bob says:

    I’ll try keep an open mind if you explain. :)

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Bob; Read carefully my 3:51, and my ensuing posts, and figure it out. It’s not that complicated if you don’t do a knee-jerk reaction.

  18. Bob says:

    Wanna 10:03 About your 3:51, I can see two immediate problems, First, doctors themselves might disagree on this.
    Second, Almost all manufactured medicines have side affects, shouldn’t it be up to the patient/consumer to decide if they are willing to forego the potential side affects versus what the medicine can do for them? I think most women who are already on the pill, have accepted the consequences of any side affects. I don’t see it being any different for over the counter.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Oh for Pete’s sake !! Have you seen the possible side effects for simple aspirin? As on all drugs, sometimes the warnings seem to be more dangerous than what they were intended for. Each body’s chemistry is different, and with the consideration of each one’s medical history, The doctor ideally prescribes the meds that cause the least harm potential. Nothing is perfect, and there are always unintended consequences. For example I have elevated cholesterol. When I first started taking the cholesterol drug, I went in every month for a while for blood work, to see if/how it was working, and also to monitor my liver enzymes. I also take another med that can affect the liver. He watches the combined effect of the meds I take in that regard. Tylenol (over the counter), is currently the most over used drug that can also cause liver damage. The Dr. also monitors that intake, so as not to have complications. How many people lie to the doctor on the amount of alcohol they consume? The doctors also ask patients if they are taking any herbals, and other over the counter meds when they coordinate their prescriptions. All the women who are on the pill today are getting them via prescription, and are yearly monitored at their annual physical. The patient can’t possibly be on top of all potential hazards. Take away that level of maintenance, I would be afraid of the law of unintended consequences. I am sure that if the meds were not monitored, many women would not get an annual exam, also making them vulnerable to other serious things. Then also bodies change as they age, and if not monitored, those changes could easily become dangerous. As one ages, a couple things happen. First tolerances can increase, or decrease, or even negative reactions can pop up unexpectedly. Yes, every patient needs to be a part of the observation team, but on his/her own, without observation from a doctor, it could easily be a Russian roulette. Then also there have been several revelations of contamination/imitation drugs available especially by mail, or from Mexico. Packaged up to look exactly the same as marketable brands/generics. No you are being just plain silly. Go ahead, and take your Viagra from your local Dairy Queen, and if your little weiner falls off, don’t call me. I fully anticipate you bringing up doctor/ pharmaceutical corruption. Could be a rare possibility. If you have doubts, get a second opinion from a different provider group. As I said, the patient is a part of the team. Now, go to a doctor, get a prescription for a tranquilizer, and lighten up.

  19. Bob says:

    Half the time, I don’t have time to post anything but a cursory response, and not only that, but its so boring to constantly have to go back and explain things at a seemingly elementary level to faithheads. I kinda have more fun doing the so called “knee jerk” responses.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      And it is usually inacurate, not well thought out, and short sighted. Quips and sound bites are not helpfull. I see things haven”t changed for you.

    • Doubtful says:

      “Half the time, I don’t have time to post anything but a cursory response, and not only that, but its so boring to constantly have to go back and explain things at a seemingly elementary level to faithheads.”

      I feel the same about liberal idiots, but I still try to respond to what they say rather than what I think they are thinking.

  20. entech says:

    Do you use little sayings in America, things like pots and kettles and dark colours?

  21. Bob says:

    Well, Doubtful, I am an atheist/Volunteeryst.
    Its hard to stay focused when the fairytales believe in, keep vomiting up on all this white space.
    Its like trying to stay serious about people who believe in cartoon characters all day long.

    • Doubtful says:

      @ Bob 11:54 Did you leave out you as in “you believe in”? It seems to me that is what you were trying to say. You have no idea what I believe. To say this is another example of your assuming things you do not know. Yet you talk of others believing in cartoons while you continually spout your beliefs about others.

    • PK says:

      It’s funny how you say it’s boring to have to re-explain everything to “faithheads” at a lower intellectual level, but yet most of your posts say the same thing over and over. Your grammar and sentence structure are literally at an elementary level also. What’s a Volunteeryst? What does that have to do with anything Doubtful said? Just looking at the times when you do your posting, you seem you have just as much, if not more time than most people on here, but yet you’re the only one that goes off the handle consistently.

      • PK says:

        I’ll also add that your “cursory knee-jerk responses” are probably all you can think of to come back with. But hey, you have it all figured out right?

  22. PK says:

    Bob, at the end of the article you posted, it says the pharmaceutical companies could make an OTC birth control pill if they spent about $10 million dollars in testing to get it approved by the FDA. In the amusing exchange between you and Wanna B, you seem to accuse him and his minions, or the faithheads as you like to say, for this. It has nothing to do with supposed opposition from religious groups, and everything to do with the manufacturers of the drug. Blame them. In my opinion, i think all drugs including illegal drugs should be available over the counter at a pharmacy like it used to be, before the government got involved in the drug trade.

    • PK says:

      “For this”… i meant for not having one available.

    • Doubtful says:

      @PK 1:09 “It has nothing to do with supposed opposition from religious groups, and everything to do with the manufacturers of the drug.”

      That is mostly true but why do you leave out the FDA when it comes to blame? Pharmaceutical companies are in business, and as such they try to make money. When they play by the rules those rules are made by the FDA in an attempt by our government to protect us. The FDA, and government in general, are not without responsibility in this.

      • PK says:

        You’re right. They are to blame as well. I think the FDA is unnecessary to have period. $10 million dollars is a drop in the bucket to company that make billions per year though. One thing is certain, it’s not Christians keeping birth control off the shelf.

  23. Bob says:

    In North Dakota, you need a prescription for codeine cough syrup, down south and in Canada, you don’t.
    Seems like most pharmacutical control isn’t so much about safety as it is about money.

  24. Bob says:

    I think many religious people because of their scriptures, want to control women’s reproduction. Catholics do? Some evangelicals, baptists?

  25. Henry says:

    Jon: “Today I gave a short speech in front of several hundred people at a state political conference.”

    Good job leading the ND demoncrat party down the atheist path. Congratulations.

    Jon:“The atmosphere in the auditorium was charged.”

    Indeed. Demoncrats want to charge you for the very air you breathe. “Cap and Trade” places a price on clean air that the wage earner pays. On some things democrats can be very consistent.

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