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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » price of contraceptives (Page 1)

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Author Topic: price of contraceptives
UKgirl
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I was recently reading 'Margaret Sanger's Disneyland' on this site and was suprised to see how high the cost of contraception was in the USA. In England contraception, along with pretty much all health care, is available free on the National Health Service.
I knew that the US did not have an NHS, but surely it makes sense to provide free contraception, as it reduces teen pregnancy, therefore saving the government money on welfare. Is there any way of getting free contraception in the US? If not, are people campaigning about this? Also, does health insurance cover this?

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Heather
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Right now in the US a campaign like that wouldn't go very far, as all the goverment will support or fund is abstinence.

Yes, it's unreasonable, but pushing contraception doesn't suppport the conservative religious agenda. So.

Some health insurance will cover contraception, but not all, and as the feds try and get rid of more and more reproductive rights as they have started to push for, we're likely going to see more mandates which make low-cost or insurance-covered contraception for unmarried people even more inaccessible. Organizations like Planned Parentood sometimes offer low-cost alternatives, but their funding, again, has been greatly reduced by our current administration.

Even trying to push them towards that in terms of welfare is going to have limited mileage, for numerous reasons -- what it all boils down to, really, is that the current administration could honestly care less. More often than not, the attitude slinking out under the surface is that pregnancy or STIs are a reasonable "punishment" for being sexually active.

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Daydreamer24
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Did the abstinence-only sex education that George Bush wanted pull through? On MTV they have this show called "Fight For Your Rights" where religious kids talk about pledging to stay abstinent until marriage and all of this crap.
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UKgirl
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seems to me (not that I'm an expert or anything) that what what abstinence ed is doing is creating at one extreme a handful of fanatics who will manage to save themselves for marriage, but will then be unable to control the size of their family, and at the other, a whole heapful of teen pregnancies. No offence to your country, but thats as mad as a barrel full of monkeys.
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cupcake
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See, up here we gte so much of our costs covered. Not meds, or anything, but a lot of it.

BCP's and condoms will still cost you, bout 10 bucks for a 12 pack, and BCP's I don't pay attention to, cause my insurance my mom gets through work pays for it.

Abortions are, oddly enough, covered by our "Medicare"


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UKgirl
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sorry, showing my ignorance, what's BCPs?

In the UK you can pay for condoms, but you can also get them free at family planning clinics. You can buy emergency contraception from the chemist, but you can get a free perscription from the doctor. All perscribed contraception (the pill, injections, implants, etc) is exempt from the usual perscription fee, which is about 6 (around $9?) usually. Abortions are free.


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Daydreamer24
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BCPs = birth control pills.
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Daydreamer24
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UKgirl, I agree with how conservative and stupid this whole abstinence-only bit is, but I'm still confused as to why you think the couples will be unable to control the size of their families...?

Anywho, you have teens who are going to have sex. No matter what you say or do, they're going to. Nothing is going to stop them. Whether or not schools choose to give the kids an adequate amount of sexual education or not is up to them. You can either give them resources on how to have sex safely or tell them not to do it (which, ultimately is going to result in more pregnancies and STDs since they're going to do it anyway).

That's my opinion.

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"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." -Mother Teresa

"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." -Theodore Rubin


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UKgirl
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They wouldn't be able to control the size of their family as they haven't been taught about proper contraception. As full grown adults they would still believe the stupid myths that sites like this are created to dispell. Also, having not been taught about sex openly and frankly, loads of them would probably be too ashamed or shy to talk openly about sex and contraception with their doctor, so they'd never learn about these things.
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Dusk
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quote:
Originally posted by Daydreamer24:
On MTV they have this show called "Fight For Your Rights" where religious kids talk about pledging to stay abstinent until marriage and all of this crap.

Why exactly is someone saying they want to be celibate until marriage crap?

I don't think abstinence-only education is the way to go. I think celibacy should be taught alongside proper instruction in contraceptives and std awareness. It needs to be an inclusive education covering basic anatomy, awareness of basic sexual responses, stds and how they're transmitted, how to use contraceptives, what pregnancy entails as well as delving into the possible emotional effects of sex.

That's a lot to go over... which is also why I think parents need to be involved in teaching their kids throughout their maturation about sex when the opportunity presents itself.

I do think it rather sucks that insurance isn't required to cover something as basic as contraceptives.


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Daydreamer24
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quote:
Originally posted by Dusk:
Why exactly is someone saying they want to be celibate until marriage crap?

Sorry, Dusk; I didn't mean to offend anybody. What I meant was that since there will always be kids who are going to have sex as teens they shouldn't strictly teach celibate-until-marriage ONLY sex education. It's fine if that's what you want to do, but they should respect the fact that no matter what they say, there'll always be a few kids who are going to have sex.

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"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." -Maya Angelou


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CutiePie4eva
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we have hiv/aids awareness team in my school... we've been teaching classes that teach safer sex, saying no, how to use condoms, etc. than we came back from vacation and there was a HUGE poster mural thing... i didnt really look at it, but in the middle is a big sign that says "abstinence is the ONLY safe way!" and my friend was saying that it was so stupid becuase they are all signs about how you can get STDs and HIV and such... and that's all it talks about. i guess they're trying to get a "scare them out of sex" approach... i have to take a good look at the signs. if that's what it is i'm going to have to put my input about how there should be signs about how to protect youself and such.
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-Jill
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quote:
Originally posted by Daydreamer24:
Whether or not schools choose to give the kids an adequate amount of sexual education or not is up to them.

Unfortunately, for all practical purposes, that is not true. A great deal of federal funding hinges on teaching an abstinence-only curricula, something most schools desperately need and simply cannot afford to lose.

Also, in Michigan the sex ed material is reviewed by a diverse panel of communitee members who have a great deal of control over what is and is not allowed into the classroom. For example, the committee connected to my high school decided against allowing us to practice putting condoms on properly. (I'm not sure what the reasoning was.) It's not just the school officials calling the shots; this may be nationwide, I'm uncertain.


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Heather
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(FYI: If you go into the "about" section on the main site, or to the donation page, you'll find a couple articles which mention that since 1996 abstinence-based sex ed is the ONLY federally funded sex ed in this country. Anything else public schools want to do is on their dime, and they risk losing funding for many programs, inculding but not limited to their sex-ed programs.)

(And yes, you'll find many of us around here, myself certainly, and perhaps obviously included, agree that that is indeed as mad as a barrel full of monkeys.)

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Heather Corinna
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Dusk
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quote:
Originally posted by Daydreamer24:
Sorry, Dusk; I didn't mean to offend anybody. What I meant was that since there will always be kids who are going to have sex as teens they shouldn't strictly teach celibate-until-marriage ONLY sex education. It's fine if that's what you want to do, but they should respect the fact that no matter what they say, there'll always be a few kids who are going to have sex.

No problem, Daydreamer, think of it as nothing more than a friendly nudge ~_^

I completely agree. If a person wants to wait until marriage, that's fine, I was of the same bent until this year. I also agree no amount of wishing or denying that kids have sex will make it not true.

From what I've heard (sorry if I'm wrong) supporters of abstinence-only sex-ed tend to think giving out information on things like how to properly use a condom is tantamount to pushing a kid into having sex? Seems a load of bollocks to me. Whether a kid decides to have sex isn't going to be determined by the amount (or lack) of sex-ed they get. Kids who don't want sex will wait, they won't magically decide they want to because of a program. Kids who do want sex will do it, regardless of whether they or not they know how to do it safely.

Seems we should be aiming for better safe then sorry in this sort of thing.


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Sapp
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There are many organizations that give out condoms for free in the US.
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twiceagainyesterday
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I live in Canada. My sex-ed until this year was abstinence. They still preach abstinence (how to say no, write a response as if you are a columnist to a girl who wants to have sex--you'll fail this is you say 'have safe sex', etc.), and there is _no_ advice for homosexuals who want to have safe sex, but they give a VERY, very thorough beating of information into our brains about the fairly common contraceptives (barriers, hormonal, natural).
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CutiePie4eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Dusk:
From what I've heard (sorry if I'm wrong) supporters of abstinence-only sex-ed tend to think giving out information on things like how to properly use a condom is tantamount to pushing a kid into having sex? Seems a load of bollocks to me.

yup your correct... thats the theory with some... give info out to teens and its like saying "go out and do", but i think thats a sillie notion (to say the least... lol).

quote:
Originally posted by Dusk:
Whether a kid decides to have sex isn't going to be determined by the amount (or lack) of sex-ed they get. Kids who don't want sex will wait, they won't magically decide they want to because of a program. Kids who do want sex will do it, regardless of whether they or not they know how to do it safely.

i actually believe that giving out info will make less people have sex because it seems that quite a few people who are sexually active are not even aware of any STDs or HIVs or have that mentality that "it cant happen to me". i kno that there are many ways (ie. condoms) to protect ones self from these things, but paranoid people like me (hehe) wont even want to chance it. if we educated teens into realizing that if they are sexually active they need to protect themselves from some pretty horrible stuff it may even be a turn off. i think that was one of the reasons i feel that i'll wait till someone really special comes along... i dont want to risk getting any diseases and such.

not to mention you cant stop people from having sex if they really want to... unless u lock them down in a cage or sumthing (this is not suggested... lol). so you should make sure if they're going to do it, they might as well do it safely. and those who wont be having sex, will have the knowledge or later use (i know i have enough knowledge to make my first experience safe and quite fun lol)... okie i think that's it. =)


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UKgirl
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was wondering, what is the situation in the US with abortion? is this covered by health insurance?

also, someone mentioned that Planned Parenthood offered "low-cost" contraception. how low cost?


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Heather
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Abortion is NOT covered by health insurance (for those who even have insurance -- many of us have none), unless it is medically necessary.

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Heather Corinna
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My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
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UKgirl
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wow. thats really messed up. I don't know how expensive abortion is in the US, but over here if you want to go private its about 450-680 (I think thats about $675-$1,020, but thats not exact). thats a hell of a lot of money, especially if the woman is choosing not to have the child for financial reasons.
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Heather
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Yes it is, and that's about comparable to what it is here.

And, to be frank, why I tend to get more than a little testy when I hear the religious right prattle on about welfare dollars.

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Heather Corinna
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My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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UKgirl
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stumbled across this: http://www.covermypills.org/
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cupcake
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dear god, that's expensive!

Up here, straight from the website of the Ottawa Abortion Clinic:

If you're covered by OHIP (which everybody in Ontario is), an abortion, no matter what stage of your pregnancy, is free.

If you are NOT from Ontario:

Totally uninsured-
6-11 weeks: 600$ canadian
12-13 weeks: 700$ canadian
14-16.9 weeks: 900$ canadian

If you're from Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, NorthWest Territories, Saskatchewan, or Yukon Territory-
400
500
650
(all canadian)

If you're from Quebec:
400
500
650

If you're from Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, or PEI-
300
600
850


Therefore, the most you'll ever pay for an abortion is if you do it late, and totally uninsured, which is 900$ Candian, or 580$ American.


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UKgirl
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Its probably worth noting that since its quite unusual for people to get private healthcare in Britain the prices I quoted above would probably get you above average treatment (otherwise people would use the NHS)
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UKgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by cupcake:
6-11 weeks: 600$ canadian
12-13 weeks: 700$ canadian
14-16.9 weeks: 900$ canadian

cupcake, you go up to 16.9 weeks here. is that the latest you can get an abortion in Canada, or could you not find the prices for later?


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Dzuunmod
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And, just to avoid confusion, cupcake is referring to the cost for women who aren't from Ontario, who want to have abortions performed in Ontario. If you're from Quebec, for instance, you can get abortions performed for free at numerous places in Quebec. Same goes for some of the other places on that list - as long as you remain in province for the abortion.

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
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cupcake
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I'm not sure actually. That particular clinic doesn't go past 17 weeks, I know that much.

Whether you're legally allowed or not, I'm not sure. I'll see what I can find.


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cupcake
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Canadian Abortion Law:

Abortion is not a crime in Canada. But it is an area of the law where, beyond that simple fact, the waters are very murky. In a nutshell, the Supreme Court of Canada said that the section of the Criminal Code which made abortion a crime was of no force or effect so it is as if that section did not exist. The Supreme Court can overrule Parliament when the latter's laws are incompatible with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That was the case here.

Behaviour in Canada can only be criminal if a federal law specifically prohibits it.

Section 287 of the Criminal Code became law in 1969. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms followed in 1982. The Code made it a criminal offence to "procure a miscarriage." Section 287 says that every one who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a female person, uses drugs, instruments or manipulation of any kind, for the purpose of carrying out their intention, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life. The Code exempted doctors from criminal liability if a hospital abortion committee was prepared to sign a statement to the effect that the "continuation of the pregnancy of the female person would or would likely to endanger (the pregnant woman's) life or health."

Section 7 of the Charter says that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

Dr. Henry Mortgentaler, through his attempts at establishing abortion clinics in a variety of Canadian provinces, forced the issue of the lawfulness of section 287 of the Criminal Code. The issue came to a head in 1988, when the Supreme Court ruled that section 287 of the Code offended section 7 of the Charter, and that the former was therefore of no force or effect. "Forcing a woman," wrote the Chief Justice, Brian Dickson, "by threat of criminal sanction to carry a foetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman's body and this a violation of her security of the person."

There were other legal challenges. An Albertan, Joseph Borowski asked the high court to rule that abortions violated the foetus' right to life and equality under section 7 of the Charter. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that a foetus was not a person capable of claiming rights under the Charter. Borowski's case never made it to the Supreme Court as the decision in Mortgentaler made the issue in Borowski's appeal moot.

The issue of the rights of the foetus reached the Supreme Court when, in 1989, a Quebec man succeeded in getting an injunction from a Quebec court to prevent his former partner from aborting her foetus. The Court sidestepped the question of foetal rights under the Charter by deciding that the foetus was not a "person" under Quebec's Civil Code.

A legislative vacuum of sorts was created. Nova Scotia tried to write a law which prevented abortions except at certified hospitals. The provincial act was ruled invalid as an encroachment on criminal law powers that is reserved to the federal government.

When she was prime minister, Kim Campbell tabled a bill to bring back a form of criminal law control over abortions. The bill survived a close vote in the House of Commons on May 29, 1990, (140 to 131) but was defeated in the Senate by a rare tie vote (43 to 43) on January 31, 1991.

Therefore, since the Mortgentaler decision, there is no Canadian criminal law which addresses abortion. The Liberal government in Ottawa has made it clear that it will not introduce amendments to the Criminal Code with respect to abortion.

A very recent development (November, 1996) involves a pregnant Ottawa woman, Brenda Drummond, who tried to kill herself or her fetus by discharging a pellet gun into her vagina. The pellet lodged into the foetus' head and the baby was born alive a few days later. Emergency surgery saved it's life when an x-ray revealed the pellet in the child's head. Attempted murder charges were brought under section 223 of the Criminal Code which says that "a person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being." The same section defines a "human being ... when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother whether or not it has completely breathed, it has an independent circulation or the navel string is severed." Defence lawyers are saying that this was merely a failed abortion which, as explained above, is no longer a crime in Canada.


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cupcake
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I can't find anything which specifically lays out whether full term (or close to full term) abortions are allowed.

My instinct, reading all this, would indicate that it is probably up to the individual doctors and clinics to decide.

I will, however, give a call to the Ottawa Clinic on Monday and ask.


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Dusk
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quote:
CutiePie4eva:
i actually believe that giving out info will make less people have sex because it seems that quite a few people who are sexually active are not even aware of any STDs or HIVs or have that mentality that "it cant happen to me".

You're probably right. I stuck with celibacy first because it was part of my belief system. Then, when I learned more about the risks, that added probably about half again to the decision. I knew I was in no way ready to deal with stds or pregnancy.

quote:
Miz Scarlet:
Abortion is NOT covered by health insurance (for those who even have insurance -- many of us have none), unless it is medically necessary.

I admit ignorance here, is there some sort of national agreement regarding what insurance will and will not cover? I seem to remember hearing about fighting to get even some companies to cover birth control pills and shots. I guess I'm a bit surprised to hear that none will cover abortion (under anything other than medical reasons) o_O


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Laura
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I just had a couple of random thoughts, and this thread seemed like as good a place as any to put them...

First: I'm not a teenager, and things may seem different from the perspective of someone who is, but why is it that "Don't have sex during your teens" is so often portrayed as synonymous with "Wait until you're married"? Plenty of people do (or plan to do) neither of those things.

Second: US Vice President Dick Cheney has gone on the record as saying that environmentalism and conservation of resources are merely matters of "personal virtue," and that the government therefore wouldn't do anything to encourage it. But if that's the case, isn't premarital celibacy, which the federal government is spending millions of dollars to promote, at least as much a matter of personal virtue?


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emsily0
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it depends on the insurance, actually. my college's student insurance plan (all students are automatically members) does cover abortion. i don't know if that's unique, though.

em


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UKgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by Laura:
Second: US Vice President Dick Cheney has gone on the record as saying that environmentalism and conservation of resources are merely matters of "personal virtue," and that the government therefore wouldn't do anything to encourage it. But if that's the case, isn't premarital celibacy, which the federal government is spending millions of dollars to promote, at least as much a matter of personal virtue?

The republican party isn't bankrolled by contraceptive manufacturers. Maybe if they were they would protect/encourage the use of these products in the same way as they do certain deeply environmentally unfriendly ones, whose manufacturers/distributors just happened to make large donations to the election campaign. Call me cynical..


Posts: 166 | From: London, England | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alabaster
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I worte an essay about this topic this past semester. Its about 4 pages so I've posted it here :
http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?journal=twim&itemid=109159#cutid1

Also a few points. It is important to take into consideration that from the conservative viewpoint teaching kids about contraception is counter to abstinence education. In a way this makes sense. FOr instance, suppose you were a parent. As a parent you may not want your child to speed when they learn how to drive. However, you then proceed to tell them how to speed "safely" and more important, how to spot speed traps set up by the police. This is a conflicting message, and many of the conservative viewpoint feel that giving kids condoms and saying "abstinece is best" is synonymous with giving them guns and saying "now don't ever play with this."

It is also important to realize that if we dismiss the conservative viewpoint as false and "stupid" we are in no way going to gain any favor from them and are that much less likly to convince them of our own rightness. Very much a "more flies with honey then vinegar" sort of thing. For instance, if you thought the sky was purple, and another thought it was blue and called you stupid for thinking it was purple, there is a decent chance that you are going to stubbornly keep on saying its purple. After all, why should you agree with someone who just insulted you?

That being said, I agree that a comprihensive sexual education is necessary. I personally don't feel that 14 year olds should be haivng sex, but if they do I want them to know how to protect themselves and others. It infuriates me to no end when people blindly assume that just because you pund abstinence into the heads of an entire generation, that this generation will say "Oh wow, what a great idea" and will choose not to have sex. And when I say people, I talk mainly of our current president who seems to find new ways to tick me off on a daily baisis.

I wonder if he ever had premarital sex?

Kay, done ranting.


Posts: 18 | From: Salisbury, MD | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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