Contraception is not health care

The great Anthony Esolen reminds us, in the midst of the Obamacare insurance mandate, that contraception is NOT, strictly speaking,  a medical issue:

The use of estrogen as contraception is not medical at all. Quite the contrary. A couple who use estrogen to prevent the conception of a child do not ingest the drug to enhance the performance of their reproductive organs, or to heal any debility therein. Their worry is rather that those organs are functioning in a healthy and natural way, and they wish they weren’t. They want to obtain not ability but debility. They want not to repair but to thwart.

Here it is usually argued that the drug is medical because it prevents a disease. But that is to invert the meaning of words. When the reproductive organs are used in a reproductive act, the conception of a child is the healthy and natural result. That is a plain biological fact. If John and Mary are using their organs in that way, and they cannot conceive a child, then this calls for a remedy; that is the province of medicine. It is also the province of medicine to shield us against casual exposure to communicable diseases—exposure that we cannot prevent, and that subjects us to debility or death. Childbearing and malaria are not the same sorts of thing.

via A Tale of Two Sex Hormones « Public Discourse.

The use of artificial estrogen to prevent conception is, in fact, he argues, parallel to the use of artificial testosterone–a.k.a. steroids–by baseball players.  (You’ve really got to read how he ties baseball into all of this!)

HT:  Mark Misulia

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    “the conception of a child is the healthy and natural result. That is a plain biological fact.”

    Natural, maybe. But arsenic and cancer are also natural. Healthy? Sometimes. Sometimes not. There are many cases where pregnancy can be very unhealthy. Here’s one example I think we all can agree on: what about a 14-year old who gets pregnant? I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could call that healthy. Would you rather your 14 year old daughter get the flu or get pregnant?

  • Michael B.

    “the conception of a child is the healthy and natural result. That is a plain biological fact.”

    Natural, maybe. But arsenic and cancer are also natural. Healthy? Sometimes. Sometimes not. There are many cases where pregnancy can be very unhealthy. Here’s one example I think we all can agree on: what about a 14-year old who gets pregnant? I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could call that healthy. Would you rather your 14 year old daughter get the flu or get pregnant?

  • Purple Koolaid

    Fertility is not a disease.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Fertility is not a disease.

  • Carolyn

    I shudder for every woman in the the fundamentalist denominations, like the LCMS. To think that this baloney, written by a male professor of English, passes for intelligent discussion on women’s health.

  • Carolyn

    I shudder for every woman in the the fundamentalist denominations, like the LCMS. To think that this baloney, written by a male professor of English, passes for intelligent discussion on women’s health.

  • Booklover

    I shudder, Carolyn, for anyone who thinks a woman does not have the brains to think for herself.

    I am sorry for the woman who carries the right to destroy her own offspring as a badge of pride.

    Pregnancy is not a disease. Giving birth is a great gift.

    In the end, all we really have is family. On my deathbed, I’d rather look into the eyes of my son, than reminisce on that woman’s rights march that I participated in.

  • Booklover

    I shudder, Carolyn, for anyone who thinks a woman does not have the brains to think for herself.

    I am sorry for the woman who carries the right to destroy her own offspring as a badge of pride.

    Pregnancy is not a disease. Giving birth is a great gift.

    In the end, all we really have is family. On my deathbed, I’d rather look into the eyes of my son, than reminisce on that woman’s rights march that I participated in.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What I find funny is that there’s a rather easy way to exercise free self-health care with regard to contraception, not requiring a dime of either one’s own personal money or the money of others.

    Chastity.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What I find funny is that there’s a rather easy way to exercise free self-health care with regard to contraception, not requiring a dime of either one’s own personal money or the money of others.

    Chastity.

  • Kirk

    @1 Michael identifies the HUGE hole Esolen’s argument: that conception is always and everywhere a healthy thing. It’s not. Even beyond Michael’s example, there are perfectly legitimate medical reasons that a fertile, monogamous, married woman should not become pregnant. Certain illnesses and conditions can make pregnancy extremely dangerous for both woman and child, as can physical deformities and even scarring from multiple of cesarean sections. Plus, birth spacing is generally considered to be a sound medical practice for women who have multiple children. Pregnancy takes a toll and the body and, generally speaking, it’s wise to allow time for recovery before another child is conceived.

  • Kirk

    @1 Michael identifies the HUGE hole Esolen’s argument: that conception is always and everywhere a healthy thing. It’s not. Even beyond Michael’s example, there are perfectly legitimate medical reasons that a fertile, monogamous, married woman should not become pregnant. Certain illnesses and conditions can make pregnancy extremely dangerous for both woman and child, as can physical deformities and even scarring from multiple of cesarean sections. Plus, birth spacing is generally considered to be a sound medical practice for women who have multiple children. Pregnancy takes a toll and the body and, generally speaking, it’s wise to allow time for recovery before another child is conceived.

  • Kirk

    And all this being said, it should be the right of doctors and insurers to determine whether or not birth control is a legitimate medical need. I could see coverage of birth control by insurers being a net savings by limiting expenses related to unwanted pregnancies, but I could see things going to other way too.

  • Kirk

    And all this being said, it should be the right of doctors and insurers to determine whether or not birth control is a legitimate medical need. I could see coverage of birth control by insurers being a net savings by limiting expenses related to unwanted pregnancies, but I could see things going to other way too.

  • #4 Kitty

    The great Anthony Esolen reminds us, in the midst of the Obamacare insurance mandate, that contraception is NOT, strictly speaking, a medical issue:

    Here’s an article from the New York Times (which took me five seconds to Google) that suggests that hormonal contraception has benefits other than birth control such as reducing the risk for ovarian and endometrial cancer, as well as osteoporosis. The article goes on to say that Using contraception can also give women a chance to get healthy before they conceive — to stop smoking, lose weight or lower their blood sugar. Another benefit of hormonal contraception that the great Anthony Esolen forgot to mention in his baseball analogy is how it regulates, vitiates, or flat out eliminates menstruation; a blessing to “women who suffer from severe cramping and bleeding, anemia, mood swings and migraines”.

  • #4 Kitty

    The great Anthony Esolen reminds us, in the midst of the Obamacare insurance mandate, that contraception is NOT, strictly speaking, a medical issue:

    Here’s an article from the New York Times (which took me five seconds to Google) that suggests that hormonal contraception has benefits other than birth control such as reducing the risk for ovarian and endometrial cancer, as well as osteoporosis. The article goes on to say that Using contraception can also give women a chance to get healthy before they conceive — to stop smoking, lose weight or lower their blood sugar. Another benefit of hormonal contraception that the great Anthony Esolen forgot to mention in his baseball analogy is how it regulates, vitiates, or flat out eliminates menstruation; a blessing to “women who suffer from severe cramping and bleeding, anemia, mood swings and migraines”.

  • Cincinnatus

    I think more important than Kirk’s point–which doesn’t avoid the thorny ethical questions surrounding procreation–is the fact that contraception is often prescribed for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. For example, it is an effective treatment for severely painful menstrual cycles and chronic acne.

    That said, there is still no need for insurance plans to provide mandatory contraception coverage. If contraception is prescribed for a legitimate medical reason (i.e., not an elective decision to prevent pregnancy), most insurance companies reimburse the cost of the prescription because it’s considered medically necessary. No need for an HHS mandate. The mandate is about continuing to institutionalize the fruits of the sexual revolution and that’s it.

  • Cincinnatus

    I think more important than Kirk’s point–which doesn’t avoid the thorny ethical questions surrounding procreation–is the fact that contraception is often prescribed for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. For example, it is an effective treatment for severely painful menstrual cycles and chronic acne.

    That said, there is still no need for insurance plans to provide mandatory contraception coverage. If contraception is prescribed for a legitimate medical reason (i.e., not an elective decision to prevent pregnancy), most insurance companies reimburse the cost of the prescription because it’s considered medically necessary. No need for an HHS mandate. The mandate is about continuing to institutionalize the fruits of the sexual revolution and that’s it.

  • Joe

    you don’t take “contraception” for the issues Kitty describes – you take hormones. They may be found in the contraceptive pills but you are not taking contraceptives. You are taking a hormone that has a side effect of making it harder to get pregnant.

  • Joe

    you don’t take “contraception” for the issues Kitty describes – you take hormones. They may be found in the contraceptive pills but you are not taking contraceptives. You are taking a hormone that has a side effect of making it harder to get pregnant.

  • Steve Billingsley

    “The mandate is about continuing to institutionalize the fruits of the sexual revolution and that’s it.”

    Cincinnatus @ 9 – BINGO – you win the prize.

    The only thing that I would add is that it is a convenient way for the Obama administration to pick a culture fight that it thinks it can win in an election year and a nice distraction from mediocre economic numbers and high gas prices.

  • Steve Billingsley

    “The mandate is about continuing to institutionalize the fruits of the sexual revolution and that’s it.”

    Cincinnatus @ 9 – BINGO – you win the prize.

    The only thing that I would add is that it is a convenient way for the Obama administration to pick a culture fight that it thinks it can win in an election year and a nice distraction from mediocre economic numbers and high gas prices.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Joe @ 1o

    Don’t confuse people with the facts.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Joe @ 1o

    Don’t confuse people with the facts.

  • Kirk

    @ Cinn

    This is because I’m unconvinced by the ethical arguments against contraception. But I agree with you, HHS has no part in determining whether or not those arguments have merit.

  • Kirk

    @ Cinn

    This is because I’m unconvinced by the ethical arguments against contraception. But I agree with you, HHS has no part in determining whether or not those arguments have merit.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincinnatus – I think you hit upon one of the other issues with the mandate. What you and Kitty and Kirk are describing are medically necessary uses of contraceptive medication requiring the oversight of a medical professional and the issuance of a prescription.

    From my understanding (and things may have changed), the mandate was requiring contraception to be virtually OTC in how it is sold. Effectively, it would be uncontrolled. Now, being more libertarian myself (even though I’m a member of that fundy LCMS he-man woman haters club) I think prescription medication is something between a patient a doctor and a pharmacist and most drug laws established and enforced by the FDA or DEA should be repealed. BUT, if I am insurance company I would want to make sure that any coverage I provide has some sort of prescription backing it up. I’m not going to cover you buying aspirin – even though it has benefits for heart health. If you make contraception a virtual OTC – I’m also not going to cover it – I have little or no information that a woman’s sue of it is medically necessary or “cosmetic.”

    Now, some might say, “Well providing contraception to women, reduces pregnancy expenditures,” but you could also say that “Providing aspirin subsidies to people reduces heart attack and stroke expenditures.” Maybe so, but so what? I’m still not covering aspirin or contraceptive medication if it is treated like an OTC – Rx or not.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincinnatus – I think you hit upon one of the other issues with the mandate. What you and Kitty and Kirk are describing are medically necessary uses of contraceptive medication requiring the oversight of a medical professional and the issuance of a prescription.

    From my understanding (and things may have changed), the mandate was requiring contraception to be virtually OTC in how it is sold. Effectively, it would be uncontrolled. Now, being more libertarian myself (even though I’m a member of that fundy LCMS he-man woman haters club) I think prescription medication is something between a patient a doctor and a pharmacist and most drug laws established and enforced by the FDA or DEA should be repealed. BUT, if I am insurance company I would want to make sure that any coverage I provide has some sort of prescription backing it up. I’m not going to cover you buying aspirin – even though it has benefits for heart health. If you make contraception a virtual OTC – I’m also not going to cover it – I have little or no information that a woman’s sue of it is medically necessary or “cosmetic.”

    Now, some might say, “Well providing contraception to women, reduces pregnancy expenditures,” but you could also say that “Providing aspirin subsidies to people reduces heart attack and stroke expenditures.” Maybe so, but so what? I’m still not covering aspirin or contraceptive medication if it is treated like an OTC – Rx or not.

  • Jon

    Carolyn @3

    Yours is ad hominem–not helpful, doesn’t advance your cause. Please make an argument from reason. (Unless you are being cheeky, and I missed it.)

    At least Michael B. @ 1, who is on your side, tried and failed with his tug at emotions regarding a 14 y/o mother.

  • Jon

    Carolyn @3

    Yours is ad hominem–not helpful, doesn’t advance your cause. Please make an argument from reason. (Unless you are being cheeky, and I missed it.)

    At least Michael B. @ 1, who is on your side, tried and failed with his tug at emotions regarding a 14 y/o mother.

  • Jon

    Kirk @ 6-7, you make some good points that there may indeed be legitimate **therapeutic** medical reasons for birth control. I don’t think the author would disagree with you on those.

    The point is, however, that does not advance the argument for why, if some women have a legit medical reason to have birth control, that therefore ALL women ought to have free birth control as **healthcare**.

  • Jon

    Kirk @ 6-7, you make some good points that there may indeed be legitimate **therapeutic** medical reasons for birth control. I don’t think the author would disagree with you on those.

    The point is, however, that does not advance the argument for why, if some women have a legit medical reason to have birth control, that therefore ALL women ought to have free birth control as **healthcare**.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Joe #10
    The article that I reference above disagrees with you. Whether it’s discussing reducing the risk of cancer, improving the health of would be mothers, easing cramps, enhancing complexion, diabetes, weight loss, etc., the words “contraception” or “birth control” are used.
    In other words they are taking contraceptions.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Joe #10
    The article that I reference above disagrees with you. Whether it’s discussing reducing the risk of cancer, improving the health of would be mothers, easing cramps, enhancing complexion, diabetes, weight loss, etc., the words “contraception” or “birth control” are used.
    In other words they are taking contraceptions.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @17
    And we know that everything printed in the New York Times is 100% factually correct (cough…Jayson Blair….) and agenda-free.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @17
    And we know that everything printed in the New York Times is 100% factually correct (cough…Jayson Blair….) and agenda-free.

  • Cincinnatus

    #4Kitty @ 17,

    I think you missed Joe’s point. His point was “rhetorical,” as it were. If chemical “contraceptives” are prescribed to prevent severe menstrual symptoms, intrinsically dangerous pregnancies, stubborn acne, endometriosis, etc., then they are prescribed as medically necessary pharmaceuticals like any other prescription drug. The fact that they prevent pregnancy is in this case a side effect analogous to the nausea induced by certain antibiotics, for example.

    Pay attention: legitimate insurance policies already cover “contraceptives” when they are prescribed for medically necessary reasons like these. In short, the HHS mandate is not necessary for the sake of women’s health. Women’s health is already covered. It’s about subsidizing sexual choices. There is no intrinsic reason that insurance (and thus policy-holders and taxpayers) should be required to fund purely elective chemical contraceptives in perpetuum for women who just want to have unprotected sex without getting pregnant. It would be odd, at best, if men banded together and demanded that insurance companies be legally required to cover a life supply of condoms (even though they prevent STD’s, pregnancy, etc.). Condoms aren’t medically necessary. Neither are chemical contraceptives when sought for elective purposes.

    /also, chemical contraception is uber-cheap: $8/month if you settle for generics, etc. If you can’t afford that expense without legal mandates and insurance coverage, then your problems are bigger than anything an Obama mandate can fix.

  • Cincinnatus

    #4Kitty @ 17,

    I think you missed Joe’s point. His point was “rhetorical,” as it were. If chemical “contraceptives” are prescribed to prevent severe menstrual symptoms, intrinsically dangerous pregnancies, stubborn acne, endometriosis, etc., then they are prescribed as medically necessary pharmaceuticals like any other prescription drug. The fact that they prevent pregnancy is in this case a side effect analogous to the nausea induced by certain antibiotics, for example.

    Pay attention: legitimate insurance policies already cover “contraceptives” when they are prescribed for medically necessary reasons like these. In short, the HHS mandate is not necessary for the sake of women’s health. Women’s health is already covered. It’s about subsidizing sexual choices. There is no intrinsic reason that insurance (and thus policy-holders and taxpayers) should be required to fund purely elective chemical contraceptives in perpetuum for women who just want to have unprotected sex without getting pregnant. It would be odd, at best, if men banded together and demanded that insurance companies be legally required to cover a life supply of condoms (even though they prevent STD’s, pregnancy, etc.). Condoms aren’t medically necessary. Neither are chemical contraceptives when sought for elective purposes.

    /also, chemical contraception is uber-cheap: $8/month if you settle for generics, etc. If you can’t afford that expense without legal mandates and insurance coverage, then your problems are bigger than anything an Obama mandate can fix.

  • #4 Kitty

    @18
    Steve we have an article written by the New York times on one hand and a baseball analogy on the other.

  • #4 Kitty

    @18
    Steve we have an article written by the New York times on one hand and a baseball analogy on the other.

  • #4 Kitty

    @ Cincinnatus
    legitimate insurance policies already cover “contraceptives” when they are prescribed for medically necessary reasons like these.
    I don’t think we disagree. My argument was against the title of this post: “Contraception is not health care”. It is indeed health care, when as you say, “they are prescribed for medically necessayr reasons.”

  • #4 Kitty

    @ Cincinnatus
    legitimate insurance policies already cover “contraceptives” when they are prescribed for medically necessary reasons like these.
    I don’t think we disagree. My argument was against the title of this post: “Contraception is not health care”. It is indeed health care, when as you say, “they are prescribed for medically necessayr reasons.”

  • Steve Billingsley

    @18
    And your point? My point is that the one (NYT article) isn’t necessarily any more trustworthy than the other. And this isn’t a gratuitous slap at just the NYT, much of present day journalism fails the test of presenting medical issues (or almost any issue) in a fair and competent way.

    You did completely miss Joe’s point. Hormone based contraception alters the body’s chemistry. That is its function. The side effect of this altering is that pregnancy is most often (though not always) prevented. There are indeed legitimate medical reasons for the prescription of hormones (You are correct that Esolen does not address this). But the prescription of hormones for the sole reason of contraception does have potentially serious side effects that are often minimized.

    Cincinnatus @19 again nails the actual point. To simply quote him..
    “Pay attention: legitimate insurance policies already cover “contraceptives” when they are prescribed for medically necessary reasons like these. In short, the HHS mandate is not necessary for the sake of women’s health. Women’s health is already covered. It’s about subsidizing sexual choices. There is no intrinsic reason that insurance (and thus policy-holders and taxpayers) should be required to fund purely elective chemical contraceptives in perpetuum for women who just want to have unprotected sex without getting pregnant. It would be odd, at best, if men banded together and demanded that insurance companies be legally required to cover a life supply of condoms (even though they prevent STD’s, pregnancy, etc.). Condoms aren’t medically necessary. Neither are chemical contraceptives when sought for elective purposes. ”

    Maybe if it is posted multiple times you might actually read and pay attention to it.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @18
    And your point? My point is that the one (NYT article) isn’t necessarily any more trustworthy than the other. And this isn’t a gratuitous slap at just the NYT, much of present day journalism fails the test of presenting medical issues (or almost any issue) in a fair and competent way.

    You did completely miss Joe’s point. Hormone based contraception alters the body’s chemistry. That is its function. The side effect of this altering is that pregnancy is most often (though not always) prevented. There are indeed legitimate medical reasons for the prescription of hormones (You are correct that Esolen does not address this). But the prescription of hormones for the sole reason of contraception does have potentially serious side effects that are often minimized.

    Cincinnatus @19 again nails the actual point. To simply quote him..
    “Pay attention: legitimate insurance policies already cover “contraceptives” when they are prescribed for medically necessary reasons like these. In short, the HHS mandate is not necessary for the sake of women’s health. Women’s health is already covered. It’s about subsidizing sexual choices. There is no intrinsic reason that insurance (and thus policy-holders and taxpayers) should be required to fund purely elective chemical contraceptives in perpetuum for women who just want to have unprotected sex without getting pregnant. It would be odd, at best, if men banded together and demanded that insurance companies be legally required to cover a life supply of condoms (even though they prevent STD’s, pregnancy, etc.). Condoms aren’t medically necessary. Neither are chemical contraceptives when sought for elective purposes. ”

    Maybe if it is posted multiple times you might actually read and pay attention to it.

  • Steve Billingsley

    To state it even more simply….Contraception and hormones aren’t the same thing. They can overlap, but there are many non-hormonal methods of contraception and many non-contraceptive functions of prescribed hormones.

    It’s not that hard to understand.

  • Steve Billingsley

    To state it even more simply….Contraception and hormones aren’t the same thing. They can overlap, but there are many non-hormonal methods of contraception and many non-contraceptive functions of prescribed hormones.

    It’s not that hard to understand.

  • formerly just steve

    I guess I don’t really care if contraception is considered health care. I’m not convinced it’s relevant to the conversation. I’ve paid full price for certain prescriptions at the pharmacy before because there was no generic and the brand wasn’t covered by my plan. Do I have a right, granted by the almighty government, to have these drugs covered?

  • formerly just steve

    I guess I don’t really care if contraception is considered health care. I’m not convinced it’s relevant to the conversation. I’ve paid full price for certain prescriptions at the pharmacy before because there was no generic and the brand wasn’t covered by my plan. Do I have a right, granted by the almighty government, to have these drugs covered?

  • #4 Kitty

    @Steve
    “And your point? My point is that the one (NYT article) isn’t necessarily any more trustworthy than the other.”

    Your saying that a NYT article is of no more value than a baseball analogy?
    And in the spirit of “Maybe if it is posted multiple times you might actually read and pay attention to it.” (remember, you started it)
    Might I ask if you’re mentally retarded? Or just a religious fundamentalist? Oh, I repeat myself.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Steve
    “And your point? My point is that the one (NYT article) isn’t necessarily any more trustworthy than the other.”

    Your saying that a NYT article is of no more value than a baseball analogy?
    And in the spirit of “Maybe if it is posted multiple times you might actually read and pay attention to it.” (remember, you started it)
    Might I ask if you’re mentally retarded? Or just a religious fundamentalist? Oh, I repeat myself.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @25
    “Your saying that a NYT article is of no more value than a baseball analogy?

    It depends upon the article and upon the analogy. There are plenty of analogies of much more value than the plagiarized Jayson Blair articles. I think Esolen’s analogy has some value – although he doesn’t address the legitimate medical uses of hormonal prescriptions that can be used for contraception. His overall point – that the use of estrogen as contraception is not medical, but simply serves a desired social end outside of the scope of health care – has a lot of validity. As to the NYT article that you linked – it has some value as well – but it doesn’t differentiate between between contraception and the medical use of hormones (which have the side effect of contraception). And it has a particular slant because it doesn’t adequately address the downsides of the use of estrogen.

    As to the rest of your comment…you stay classy.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @25
    “Your saying that a NYT article is of no more value than a baseball analogy?

    It depends upon the article and upon the analogy. There are plenty of analogies of much more value than the plagiarized Jayson Blair articles. I think Esolen’s analogy has some value – although he doesn’t address the legitimate medical uses of hormonal prescriptions that can be used for contraception. His overall point – that the use of estrogen as contraception is not medical, but simply serves a desired social end outside of the scope of health care – has a lot of validity. As to the NYT article that you linked – it has some value as well – but it doesn’t differentiate between between contraception and the medical use of hormones (which have the side effect of contraception). And it has a particular slant because it doesn’t adequately address the downsides of the use of estrogen.

    As to the rest of your comment…you stay classy.

  • #4 Kitty

    @ Steve 25

    but it doesn’t differentiate between between contraception and the medical use of hormones (which have the side effect of contraception).

    Yes, it does.
    The article states that the following contraceptives are prescribed for the above medical benefits:
    Loestrin 24
    Seasonale
    Seasonique
    and Lybrel
    And that is why I maintain Joe is mistaken.

  • #4 Kitty

    @ Steve 25

    but it doesn’t differentiate between between contraception and the medical use of hormones (which have the side effect of contraception).

    Yes, it does.
    The article states that the following contraceptives are prescribed for the above medical benefits:
    Loestrin 24
    Seasonale
    Seasonique
    and Lybrel
    And that is why I maintain Joe is mistaken.

  • Joe

    Kitty – the very obvious point I made and everyone else here seems to get is that the reason one takes the pill defines what it is for purposes of calling it healthcare or what is known in the pharma industry as a life style drug. Life style drugs are not healthcare. Taking the pill so you don’t get pregnant puts the pill in the category of a life style drug. Taking it because you have a genuine health issue that may be treated by the hormones in the pill makes it healthcare.

  • Joe

    Kitty – the very obvious point I made and everyone else here seems to get is that the reason one takes the pill defines what it is for purposes of calling it healthcare or what is known in the pharma industry as a life style drug. Life style drugs are not healthcare. Taking the pill so you don’t get pregnant puts the pill in the category of a life style drug. Taking it because you have a genuine health issue that may be treated by the hormones in the pill makes it healthcare.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ever so late to this discussion. Oh well, I’ll dive in.

    Michael B said (@1):

    Here’s one example I think we all can agree on: what about a 14-year old who gets pregnant? I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could call that healthy.

    I still think you’ve missed the point of what we mean by the word “healthy”, having completely detached it from any notion of actual, you know, bodily health, and made it mean solely “according to social custom or norm”. Which is a meaning of the word, but certainly not the main one.

    Regardless, I suggest you get out a bit more. Enjoy the diversity of opinion that the world has to offer. Or at least learn about it. Perhaps explore what historical understandings of a good age to get pregnant at were. I suppose it would surprise you that, quite often, the answer was “whenever a girl’s body is mature enough to do so.” Yes, how horrid, that a culture actually pay attention to how the body is designed. Stupid, icky, corporeal beings!

    Of course, even in present day, girls can get married (and, though it might pain social liberals to correlate the two, therefore have sex with their husband and get pregnant) with parental or judicial consent at the age of 14 in such liberally enlightened places as Massachusetts and Canada.

    All rather off-topic, but it’s late in the day, and the conversation was already potentially derailed in the first comment, so there you go.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ever so late to this discussion. Oh well, I’ll dive in.

    Michael B said (@1):

    Here’s one example I think we all can agree on: what about a 14-year old who gets pregnant? I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could call that healthy.

    I still think you’ve missed the point of what we mean by the word “healthy”, having completely detached it from any notion of actual, you know, bodily health, and made it mean solely “according to social custom or norm”. Which is a meaning of the word, but certainly not the main one.

    Regardless, I suggest you get out a bit more. Enjoy the diversity of opinion that the world has to offer. Or at least learn about it. Perhaps explore what historical understandings of a good age to get pregnant at were. I suppose it would surprise you that, quite often, the answer was “whenever a girl’s body is mature enough to do so.” Yes, how horrid, that a culture actually pay attention to how the body is designed. Stupid, icky, corporeal beings!

    Of course, even in present day, girls can get married (and, though it might pain social liberals to correlate the two, therefore have sex with their husband and get pregnant) with parental or judicial consent at the age of 14 in such liberally enlightened places as Massachusetts and Canada.

    All rather off-topic, but it’s late in the day, and the conversation was already potentially derailed in the first comment, so there you go.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe said (@28),

    The very obvious point I made and everyone else here seems to get is that the reason one takes the pill defines what it is for purposes of calling it healthcare or what is known in the pharma industry as a life style drug.

    Yeah, I’m not sure I get why this is so important to you, as it, at the very least, seems to ignore common usage.

    I mean, your point would be more valid if we were talking about something like aspirin, which is often referred to by a more-or-less scientific name (real scientists say “acetylsalicylic acid”, but whatever). As such, people either say “I’m taking aspirin for my headaches”, or “I’m taking aspirin as a blood thinner.” They do not commonly say, “I’m taking headache medicine as a blood thinner.” But then, that would be ambiguous, as there are many kinds of headache medicine.

    However, this is not the case with what I’ll call “the Pill”. The Pill is commonly referred to solely as a “contraceptive”, even if it is not used for that purpose (that is to say, if it is only used for its hormonal properties other than preventing conception). I mean, the title of the Wikipedia page for the Pill is “Combined oral contraceptive pill”, even though there’s a section on “Non-contraceptive uses”. So you will hear people say that they’re on “contraceptives” or “birth-control pills” to prevent extreme menstrual cramping, or whatever other reason.

    But, like I said, what’s the point of your point?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe said (@28),

    The very obvious point I made and everyone else here seems to get is that the reason one takes the pill defines what it is for purposes of calling it healthcare or what is known in the pharma industry as a life style drug.

    Yeah, I’m not sure I get why this is so important to you, as it, at the very least, seems to ignore common usage.

    I mean, your point would be more valid if we were talking about something like aspirin, which is often referred to by a more-or-less scientific name (real scientists say “acetylsalicylic acid”, but whatever). As such, people either say “I’m taking aspirin for my headaches”, or “I’m taking aspirin as a blood thinner.” They do not commonly say, “I’m taking headache medicine as a blood thinner.” But then, that would be ambiguous, as there are many kinds of headache medicine.

    However, this is not the case with what I’ll call “the Pill”. The Pill is commonly referred to solely as a “contraceptive”, even if it is not used for that purpose (that is to say, if it is only used for its hormonal properties other than preventing conception). I mean, the title of the Wikipedia page for the Pill is “Combined oral contraceptive pill”, even though there’s a section on “Non-contraceptive uses”. So you will hear people say that they’re on “contraceptives” or “birth-control pills” to prevent extreme menstrual cramping, or whatever other reason.

    But, like I said, what’s the point of your point?

  • Michael B.

    For all the people on here who are so against the pill, I have to ask: What are you using for birth control? (If there are any folks on here in the Quiverful movement, feel free to exempt yourself from this question.)

  • Michael B.

    For all the people on here who are so against the pill, I have to ask: What are you using for birth control? (If there are any folks on here in the Quiverful movement, feel free to exempt yourself from this question.)

  • anonymous

    Amenorrhea.

  • anonymous

    Amenorrhea.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@31), what is the point of your asking? That’s a remarkably personal question, and I’m not sure that answers from my own personal experience would really serve any purpose beyond giving out TMI.

    Are you merely incredulous at the thought of people using something besides The Pill for birth control? Are you assuming that everyone must be using some sort of birth control? What’s your angle?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@31), what is the point of your asking? That’s a remarkably personal question, and I’m not sure that answers from my own personal experience would really serve any purpose beyond giving out TMI.

    Are you merely incredulous at the thought of people using something besides The Pill for birth control? Are you assuming that everyone must be using some sort of birth control? What’s your angle?

  • formerly just steve

    Michael’s point is to keep people talking about the merits of birth control rather than the real issue religious freedoms and the mandated coverage for birth control. Unfortunately, Republicans seem to be taking the bait on this, yet another manufactured issue.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael’s point is to keep people talking about the merits of birth control rather than the real issue religious freedoms and the mandated coverage for birth control. Unfortunately, Republicans seem to be taking the bait on this, yet another manufactured issue.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd@29
    “Regardless, I suggest you get out a bit more. Enjoy the diversity of opinion that the world has to offer. Or at least learn about it. Perhaps explore what historical understandings of a good age to get pregnant at were. I suppose it would surprise you that, quite often, the answer was “whenever a girl’s body is mature enough to do so.” Yes, how horrid, that a culture actually pay attention to how the body is designed. Stupid, icky, corporeal beings! Of course, even in present day, girls can get married (and, though it might pain social liberals to correlate the two, therefore have sex with their husband and get pregnant) with parental or judicial consent at the age of 14 in such liberally enlightened places as Massachusetts and Canada.”

    I must have skipped over this post. Wow. I thought I was making the hurdle pretty easy to jump over by stating that it’s not healthy for 14-year olds to be having babies. I’ll make it even easier, so that even you will have to admit that pregnancy is often not healthy. The median age of a girl’s first period is 12 or 13. Most girls have their first periods between 9 and 15. So about half of girls have had their periods before leaving elementary school. A girl who is 9 is in 3rd or 4th grade. Just because she can get pregnant doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And yes, I realize around the world there are many places that have child brides and mothers. This is physically possible, but is it healthy? Dear god, man.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd@29
    “Regardless, I suggest you get out a bit more. Enjoy the diversity of opinion that the world has to offer. Or at least learn about it. Perhaps explore what historical understandings of a good age to get pregnant at were. I suppose it would surprise you that, quite often, the answer was “whenever a girl’s body is mature enough to do so.” Yes, how horrid, that a culture actually pay attention to how the body is designed. Stupid, icky, corporeal beings! Of course, even in present day, girls can get married (and, though it might pain social liberals to correlate the two, therefore have sex with their husband and get pregnant) with parental or judicial consent at the age of 14 in such liberally enlightened places as Massachusetts and Canada.”

    I must have skipped over this post. Wow. I thought I was making the hurdle pretty easy to jump over by stating that it’s not healthy for 14-year olds to be having babies. I’ll make it even easier, so that even you will have to admit that pregnancy is often not healthy. The median age of a girl’s first period is 12 or 13. Most girls have their first periods between 9 and 15. So about half of girls have had their periods before leaving elementary school. A girl who is 9 is in 3rd or 4th grade. Just because she can get pregnant doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And yes, I realize around the world there are many places that have child brides and mothers. This is physically possible, but is it healthy? Dear god, man.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@35,

    You’re missing the point so spectacularly that I have to assume willful ignorance, but let me try where others have failed:

    First, as tODD noted, you’re using the terms “healthy” and “unhealthy” in a confusing way that is irrelevant to actual bodily health. There is nothing intrinsically “unhealthy” about a 14-year-old girl getting pregnant. Her body is biologically capable of conceiving and bearing children without danger to herself or the child. Hence, in many ancient cultures (when average lifespans were shorter), women were married at a very young age–as soon as they could bear children. For example, it is estimated that Mary was about twelve years old when she bore Jesus.

    Now, no one here is arguing that we should encourage 14-year-olds to have kids just because they can. Such pregnancies might be socially “unhealthy” or economically “unhealthy” for the teenager. She could be ostracized by her peers, or she could find it difficult to find gainful employment if she is unmarried. But none of this has any conceivable relation to “women’s health.” Her body is safe. Health insurance doesn’t exist to ensure that woman don’t have to face economic deprivation or social censure. Pregnancy is not a disease, and not necessarily harmful to health, even in a 12-year-old.

    Anyway, are you suggesting that we should put our 9-year-olds on the pill? And on the government dime, no less? Dear god, man.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@35,

    You’re missing the point so spectacularly that I have to assume willful ignorance, but let me try where others have failed:

    First, as tODD noted, you’re using the terms “healthy” and “unhealthy” in a confusing way that is irrelevant to actual bodily health. There is nothing intrinsically “unhealthy” about a 14-year-old girl getting pregnant. Her body is biologically capable of conceiving and bearing children without danger to herself or the child. Hence, in many ancient cultures (when average lifespans were shorter), women were married at a very young age–as soon as they could bear children. For example, it is estimated that Mary was about twelve years old when she bore Jesus.

    Now, no one here is arguing that we should encourage 14-year-olds to have kids just because they can. Such pregnancies might be socially “unhealthy” or economically “unhealthy” for the teenager. She could be ostracized by her peers, or she could find it difficult to find gainful employment if she is unmarried. But none of this has any conceivable relation to “women’s health.” Her body is safe. Health insurance doesn’t exist to ensure that woman don’t have to face economic deprivation or social censure. Pregnancy is not a disease, and not necessarily harmful to health, even in a 12-year-old.

    Anyway, are you suggesting that we should put our 9-year-olds on the pill? And on the government dime, no less? Dear god, man.

  • Michael B.

    “Pregnancy is not a disease, and not necessarily harmful to health, even in a 12-year-old.”

    I’m referring to emotional and mental health. I understand that is possible for a very young girl to have sex, and to have a baby. A girl can have a baby as early as 8 or 9 years old, and physically it might be okay. ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247889/Chinese-girl-9-gives-birth-health-baby-boy.html ) I get it. Is that emotionally healthy for the girl? I haven’t decided if you’re slow or creepy.

  • Michael B.

    “Pregnancy is not a disease, and not necessarily harmful to health, even in a 12-year-old.”

    I’m referring to emotional and mental health. I understand that is possible for a very young girl to have sex, and to have a baby. A girl can have a baby as early as 8 or 9 years old, and physically it might be okay. ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247889/Chinese-girl-9-gives-birth-health-baby-boy.html ) I get it. Is that emotionally healthy for the girl? I haven’t decided if you’re slow or creepy.

  • William

    “Her body is biologically capable of conceiving and bearing children without danger to herself or the child. ” I am going to call for a citation on that. You are talking like pregnancy is routine and presents no attendant risks to a woman, nor that age is a factor in how risky a pregnancy is liable to be. For instance: http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/medicalresources_teenpregnancy.html
    Salient snipit: “Teen mothers are more likely than mothers over age 20 to give birth prematurely (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy). Between 2003 and 2005, preterm birth rates averaged 14.5 percent for women under age 20 compared to 11.9 percent for women ages 20 to 29 (5). Babies born prematurely face an increased risk of newborn health problems, long-term disabilities and even death.”

  • William

    “Her body is biologically capable of conceiving and bearing children without danger to herself or the child. ” I am going to call for a citation on that. You are talking like pregnancy is routine and presents no attendant risks to a woman, nor that age is a factor in how risky a pregnancy is liable to be. For instance: http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/medicalresources_teenpregnancy.html
    Salient snipit: “Teen mothers are more likely than mothers over age 20 to give birth prematurely (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy). Between 2003 and 2005, preterm birth rates averaged 14.5 percent for women under age 20 compared to 11.9 percent for women ages 20 to 29 (5). Babies born prematurely face an increased risk of newborn health problems, long-term disabilities and even death.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.,

    Thanks for proving my point. You’re using a definition of “health” that’s irrelevant. What does “emotional health” have to do with mandatory contraception coverage by executive fiat? And leave out the ad hominems about my “creepiness.” Are you in fifth grade? Are you incapable of discussing issues relating to reproduction without giggling like a schoolboy? My question still stands: so what? Should all preteen girls be on the pill or something?

    William@38,

    Who said pregnancy wasn’t risky? Not I. I’m merely stating the factual truth that girls are biologically able to conceive and bear children as soon as they are sexually mature (as Michael notes, usually in the early teen years) without intrinsic danger to their health. Yes, pregnancies at a young age can be, statistically speaking, more risky than later pregnancies. But, again, that’s entirely beside the point. Are you suggesting that the federal government should be funding chemical contraceptives for preteen girls? Or should we outlaw pregnancies before a certain age? Why? I don’t see how any of this relates to the HHS mandate and to the question of whether elective contraception is actually a question of “health.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.,

    Thanks for proving my point. You’re using a definition of “health” that’s irrelevant. What does “emotional health” have to do with mandatory contraception coverage by executive fiat? And leave out the ad hominems about my “creepiness.” Are you in fifth grade? Are you incapable of discussing issues relating to reproduction without giggling like a schoolboy? My question still stands: so what? Should all preteen girls be on the pill or something?

    William@38,

    Who said pregnancy wasn’t risky? Not I. I’m merely stating the factual truth that girls are biologically able to conceive and bear children as soon as they are sexually mature (as Michael notes, usually in the early teen years) without intrinsic danger to their health. Yes, pregnancies at a young age can be, statistically speaking, more risky than later pregnancies. But, again, that’s entirely beside the point. Are you suggesting that the federal government should be funding chemical contraceptives for preteen girls? Or should we outlaw pregnancies before a certain age? Why? I don’t see how any of this relates to the HHS mandate and to the question of whether elective contraception is actually a question of “health.”

  • Purple Koolaid

    Birth control pills have huge risks with regard to breast cancer. Pubmed it. Don’t take my word for it. I’m just an idiot housewife who uses Natural Family Planning as her birth control method. Oy vey.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Birth control pills have huge risks with regard to breast cancer. Pubmed it. Don’t take my word for it. I’m just an idiot housewife who uses Natural Family Planning as her birth control method. Oy vey.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Michael,
    furthermore, pregnancy is celebrated around the world…even at 14-gasp. Pregnancy means a gift from G-d has been given to her. This is a celebration.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Michael,
    furthermore, pregnancy is celebrated around the world…even at 14-gasp. Pregnancy means a gift from G-d has been given to her. This is a celebration.

  • formerly just steve

    William, #38, your link actually doesn’t prove your point. They actually present a list of reasons teen pregnancies are risky. They are more likely to smoke and drink and less likely to seek proper prenatal care. They are not saying teen pregnancy is dangerous with all other risk factors being equal.

    At any rate, this is sort of beside the point. Nobody is arguing that it is right or prudent for a girl to get pregnant so early in life. They are arguing whether contraception, used as contraception, is a health care issue per se. Personally, I would argue that it doesn’t matter. Insurance companies can cover it–as many do–or not. Just like any other drug or service. Some companies cover gender reassignment procedures and I know more than a few health care providers who believe this is not only NOT a proper medical procedure but is actually causing harm to the patient. As do I.

  • formerly just steve

    William, #38, your link actually doesn’t prove your point. They actually present a list of reasons teen pregnancies are risky. They are more likely to smoke and drink and less likely to seek proper prenatal care. They are not saying teen pregnancy is dangerous with all other risk factors being equal.

    At any rate, this is sort of beside the point. Nobody is arguing that it is right or prudent for a girl to get pregnant so early in life. They are arguing whether contraception, used as contraception, is a health care issue per se. Personally, I would argue that it doesn’t matter. Insurance companies can cover it–as many do–or not. Just like any other drug or service. Some companies cover gender reassignment procedures and I know more than a few health care providers who believe this is not only NOT a proper medical procedure but is actually causing harm to the patient. As do I.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael, #37 said:

    “I’m referring to emotional and mental health. I understand that is possible for a very young girl to have sex, and to have a baby. A girl can have a baby as early as 8 or 9 years old, and physically it might be okay.”

    Since I brought it up earlier, let’s explore the concept. Why wouldn’t your same argument apply to coverage for gender reassignment? Would you be as ardent in your support for government mandated coverage for this procedure? If not, why not? Surely those who believe they were born the wrong gender are suffering mental and emotional distress.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael, #37 said:

    “I’m referring to emotional and mental health. I understand that is possible for a very young girl to have sex, and to have a baby. A girl can have a baby as early as 8 or 9 years old, and physically it might be okay.”

    Since I brought it up earlier, let’s explore the concept. Why wouldn’t your same argument apply to coverage for gender reassignment? Would you be as ardent in your support for government mandated coverage for this procedure? If not, why not? Surely those who believe they were born the wrong gender are suffering mental and emotional distress.

  • Mike

    Cincinnatus on 36 said, “For example, it is estimated that Mary was about twelve years old when she bore Jesus. ”

    So then Mary became pregnant when she was around 11 years old. The Koran says that Muhammad married a 6-year girl, but didn’t consummate the marriage until she was 9 years old.

  • Mike

    Cincinnatus on 36 said, “For example, it is estimated that Mary was about twelve years old when she bore Jesus. ”

    So then Mary became pregnant when she was around 11 years old. The Koran says that Muhammad married a 6-year girl, but didn’t consummate the marriage until she was 9 years old.

  • Cincinnatus

    Mike,

    Okay…? I have a feeling you’re tossing out some trollbait.

  • Cincinnatus

    Mike,

    Okay…? I have a feeling you’re tossing out some trollbait.

  • JimB

    Geez. What a bunch of idiots. The only reason any of you are opposed to providing free or low cost birth control is because you think women should be punished for having sex.

    You can’t use money as an argument. Birth control is pretty cheap to manufacture these days. This is not a huge investment by any health care provider.

    And the fact is that there are a lot of low income women that CANNOT afford birth control. Especially if the right has managed to close down any Planned Parenthood clinics in the area.

    And while condoms are usually available and relatively low cost. There are a lot of MEN that refuse to use them.

    And you already pay the much more increased costs of women having babies. Either thru your combined insurance coverage or thru your taxes. Because when women that don’t have insurance have babies, most of them wind up at the local emergency clinic.

    You’re just stupid if you don’t see how much more fiscally responsible it is to provide free or low cost birth control to everybody. Period.

    But no. You all have to climb up on your high horses and sneer down at the sluts and whores below you.

    And the other fact you idiots can’t quite grasp is that free or low cost birth control would probably make the largest dent in abortion rates possible.

    If more women that did not want to be pregnant had access to birth control, those same women would not have to abort those babies.

  • JimB

    Geez. What a bunch of idiots. The only reason any of you are opposed to providing free or low cost birth control is because you think women should be punished for having sex.

    You can’t use money as an argument. Birth control is pretty cheap to manufacture these days. This is not a huge investment by any health care provider.

    And the fact is that there are a lot of low income women that CANNOT afford birth control. Especially if the right has managed to close down any Planned Parenthood clinics in the area.

    And while condoms are usually available and relatively low cost. There are a lot of MEN that refuse to use them.

    And you already pay the much more increased costs of women having babies. Either thru your combined insurance coverage or thru your taxes. Because when women that don’t have insurance have babies, most of them wind up at the local emergency clinic.

    You’re just stupid if you don’t see how much more fiscally responsible it is to provide free or low cost birth control to everybody. Period.

    But no. You all have to climb up on your high horses and sneer down at the sluts and whores below you.

    And the other fact you idiots can’t quite grasp is that free or low cost birth control would probably make the largest dent in abortion rates possible.

    If more women that did not want to be pregnant had access to birth control, those same women would not have to abort those babies.

  • formerly just steve

    Cincinnatus, sounds like tollbait but, to be fair, your statement about Mary’s age was not particularly relevant. She could have been 12 years old or 120 years old because both her conception and Jesus’ birth were God’s working. Her particular situation is not comparable to this conversation for the same reason it’s not comparable to the age of Mohammed’s 6 year-old bride.

    But I’d like to know your sources for that estimate. It’s been said that Jewish girls would customarily marry at between 14-16 years old but I see no evidence that points one way or another to Mary’s situation. All we know is she was a virgin so, in all likelihood, a young woman. We know her cousin Elizabeth was “well stricken in years” but that says nothing of Mary’s age either.

  • formerly just steve

    Cincinnatus, sounds like tollbait but, to be fair, your statement about Mary’s age was not particularly relevant. She could have been 12 years old or 120 years old because both her conception and Jesus’ birth were God’s working. Her particular situation is not comparable to this conversation for the same reason it’s not comparable to the age of Mohammed’s 6 year-old bride.

    But I’d like to know your sources for that estimate. It’s been said that Jewish girls would customarily marry at between 14-16 years old but I see no evidence that points one way or another to Mary’s situation. All we know is she was a virgin so, in all likelihood, a young woman. We know her cousin Elizabeth was “well stricken in years” but that says nothing of Mary’s age either.

  • formerly just steve

    JimB, #46, while you deride the rest of us as “idiots” you are the one who is entirely missing the point. Rather than rehash it all for you, let me just suggest you read the comments of this post and others like it on this blog for yourself. If you still fail to understand, please re-post and I’m sure someone will be happy to teach you the difference between being opposed to a thing and being opposed to forcing people to do that thing against their convictions.

    I hope that’s not too confusing for you. I understood it and I’m an idiot.

  • formerly just steve

    JimB, #46, while you deride the rest of us as “idiots” you are the one who is entirely missing the point. Rather than rehash it all for you, let me just suggest you read the comments of this post and others like it on this blog for yourself. If you still fail to understand, please re-post and I’m sure someone will be happy to teach you the difference between being opposed to a thing and being opposed to forcing people to do that thing against their convictions.

    I hope that’s not too confusing for you. I understood it and I’m an idiot.

  • William

    Cincinnatus, Hey, I just quoted your words. I note now you are shifting a bit to talk about intrinsic risk where before you made no such distinction. Being pregnant has health risks, it is an avoidable state, why not use the tools we have to avoid unwanted pregnancy? Yes, I would categorically support access to birth control for any woman who feels she is at risk of getting pregnant and wishes to avoid it, furthermore, I would have any girl on the cusp of being considered a woman presented with the tools to make that decision before she is in situations where that decision becomes important. We don’t tell those who were too poor to afford seatbelts not to drive, we have car manufacturers include them in cars.

  • William

    Cincinnatus, Hey, I just quoted your words. I note now you are shifting a bit to talk about intrinsic risk where before you made no such distinction. Being pregnant has health risks, it is an avoidable state, why not use the tools we have to avoid unwanted pregnancy? Yes, I would categorically support access to birth control for any woman who feels she is at risk of getting pregnant and wishes to avoid it, furthermore, I would have any girl on the cusp of being considered a woman presented with the tools to make that decision before she is in situations where that decision becomes important. We don’t tell those who were too poor to afford seatbelts not to drive, we have car manufacturers include them in cars.

  • Joe

    Todd asked me, “But, like I said, what’s the point of your point?”

    My point is that what the pill is used for is relevant to the discussion of whether it is okay to force a third-party to pay for it under the guise of calling it “healthcare.” If you take the pill simply so you can enjoy a lifestyle choice of having sex with a lower chance of getting pregnant its a harder sell that it is so necessary from a healthcare stand point that we need the feds to mandate private actors supply it. If, on the other hand, it is taken to treat a serious medical malady the analysis is necessarily different. Its the difference between lifestyle drugs and healthcare.

    Another example is the use of viagra by gentlemen of a certain age who simply want to keep on keeping on versus people who use viagra to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

  • Joe

    Todd asked me, “But, like I said, what’s the point of your point?”

    My point is that what the pill is used for is relevant to the discussion of whether it is okay to force a third-party to pay for it under the guise of calling it “healthcare.” If you take the pill simply so you can enjoy a lifestyle choice of having sex with a lower chance of getting pregnant its a harder sell that it is so necessary from a healthcare stand point that we need the feds to mandate private actors supply it. If, on the other hand, it is taken to treat a serious medical malady the analysis is necessarily different. Its the difference between lifestyle drugs and healthcare.

    Another example is the use of viagra by gentlemen of a certain age who simply want to keep on keeping on versus people who use viagra to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

  • JimB

    formerly just steve, #48
    I read every comment before I commented.

    “They are arguing whether contraception, used as contraception, is a health care issue per se. ”

    Bull. That’s a non-issue. Costs are negligible. Requiring all health coverage to provide birth control is the cover story.

    Cause you can’t use fiscal responsibility.

    And the real reason is your “convictions”. I’d bet money you’re anti-abortion also.

    In the end that’s what you want. Punishment for women who don’t have approved sex at the approved place in the approved state of matrimony.

    “It’s been said that Jewish girls would customarily marry at between 14-16 years old but I see no evidence that points one way or another to Mary’s situation. ”

    Dude. No evidence exists for her actual existence.

  • JimB

    formerly just steve, #48
    I read every comment before I commented.

    “They are arguing whether contraception, used as contraception, is a health care issue per se. ”

    Bull. That’s a non-issue. Costs are negligible. Requiring all health coverage to provide birth control is the cover story.

    Cause you can’t use fiscal responsibility.

    And the real reason is your “convictions”. I’d bet money you’re anti-abortion also.

    In the end that’s what you want. Punishment for women who don’t have approved sex at the approved place in the approved state of matrimony.

    “It’s been said that Jewish girls would customarily marry at between 14-16 years old but I see no evidence that points one way or another to Mary’s situation. ”

    Dude. No evidence exists for her actual existence.

  • Booklover

    Back to the issue at hand. . .it is an excellent article. Thank you for drawing it to our attention. The last paragraph bears repeating:

    Artificial estrogen “alters everyone’s view of what marriage and sexual congress are for. The result is, as anyone with a little common sense could predict, that there are far more children born out of wedlock now than there were before the artificial estrogen changed the whole nature of the game. We have produced now generations of people who have never known an intact marriage. The sexual revolution has devastated the lower classes, and renders us ever less willing to practice the difficult and self-denying virtues, while we are ever more willing to surrender genuine liberty for the illusions of license.”

    Jesus said whoever welcomes a little child welcomes him; that their angels in heaven look upon the face of God. Yet we treat them as if they were undesirables.

    Lord give us the grace to love what you love, and to accept what you accept and what you have created.

  • Booklover

    Back to the issue at hand. . .it is an excellent article. Thank you for drawing it to our attention. The last paragraph bears repeating:

    Artificial estrogen “alters everyone’s view of what marriage and sexual congress are for. The result is, as anyone with a little common sense could predict, that there are far more children born out of wedlock now than there were before the artificial estrogen changed the whole nature of the game. We have produced now generations of people who have never known an intact marriage. The sexual revolution has devastated the lower classes, and renders us ever less willing to practice the difficult and self-denying virtues, while we are ever more willing to surrender genuine liberty for the illusions of license.”

    Jesus said whoever welcomes a little child welcomes him; that their angels in heaven look upon the face of God. Yet we treat them as if they were undesirables.

    Lord give us the grace to love what you love, and to accept what you accept and what you have created.

  • formerly just steve

    JimB, then you either have trouble understanding the concept or you just don’t believe people. If the latter, there’s nothing else I can say. Regarding your other points:

    Bull. That’s a non-issue. Costs are negligible. Requiring all health coverage to provide birth control is the cover story.

    My own personal issue isn’t cost nor do I believe it’s the stated issue with most others here. If you don’t believe it, again, nothing else I can say will change your mind.

    And the real reason is your “convictions”. I’d bet money you’re anti-abortion also.

    In the end that’s what you want. Punishment for women who don’t have approved sex at the approved place in the approved state of matrimony.

    I am anti-abortion but I’m not anti-birth control by any means. Meaning, I don’t approve of abortion as a method of birth control but I don’t personally have a problem with other forms of preventative birth control (including, yes, condoms).

    Dude. No evidence exists for her actual existence.

    According to what standard?

    How you could come to the conclusion that you do by what I said is anyone’s guess. They seem to have more to do with your opinions of who you think I am rather than with anything I have said. But such is the nature of debate on teh internets, eh?

  • formerly just steve

    JimB, then you either have trouble understanding the concept or you just don’t believe people. If the latter, there’s nothing else I can say. Regarding your other points:

    Bull. That’s a non-issue. Costs are negligible. Requiring all health coverage to provide birth control is the cover story.

    My own personal issue isn’t cost nor do I believe it’s the stated issue with most others here. If you don’t believe it, again, nothing else I can say will change your mind.

    And the real reason is your “convictions”. I’d bet money you’re anti-abortion also.

    In the end that’s what you want. Punishment for women who don’t have approved sex at the approved place in the approved state of matrimony.

    I am anti-abortion but I’m not anti-birth control by any means. Meaning, I don’t approve of abortion as a method of birth control but I don’t personally have a problem with other forms of preventative birth control (including, yes, condoms).

    Dude. No evidence exists for her actual existence.

    According to what standard?

    How you could come to the conclusion that you do by what I said is anyone’s guess. They seem to have more to do with your opinions of who you think I am rather than with anything I have said. But such is the nature of debate on teh internets, eh?

  • Kate

    JimB, why are you commenting on this post? You obviously do not wish to persuade anyone to your opinions on the matter. As a 20-something woman with an advanced degree, I guess I should appreciate your concern that women are being punished for having sex by white, middle-aged (I’ll throw in pedophile and Catholic and fundamentalist, just for good measure) men. But I don’t.

    One of the most annoying aspects of this national “conversation” about contraception is certain groups co-opting the Woman’s Point of View. “Shut up, you’re not a woman!” is apparently the clincher, the winning argument. Because all women are pro-abortion and wish to control their fertility. And if they’re not, they’re brainwashed or idiots (like me–advanced degree, but wasting my life at home, punished daily by four kids under five. Christ have mercy).

    (And my pro-abortion female friends would agree with me–any guy who goes out of his to talk about how pro-abortion or pro-”women’s health” he is, comes across as a real cad. Just sayin’.)

  • Kate

    JimB, why are you commenting on this post? You obviously do not wish to persuade anyone to your opinions on the matter. As a 20-something woman with an advanced degree, I guess I should appreciate your concern that women are being punished for having sex by white, middle-aged (I’ll throw in pedophile and Catholic and fundamentalist, just for good measure) men. But I don’t.

    One of the most annoying aspects of this national “conversation” about contraception is certain groups co-opting the Woman’s Point of View. “Shut up, you’re not a woman!” is apparently the clincher, the winning argument. Because all women are pro-abortion and wish to control their fertility. And if they’re not, they’re brainwashed or idiots (like me–advanced degree, but wasting my life at home, punished daily by four kids under five. Christ have mercy).

    (And my pro-abortion female friends would agree with me–any guy who goes out of his to talk about how pro-abortion or pro-”women’s health” he is, comes across as a real cad. Just sayin’.)

  • formerly just steve

    Kate,

    (And my pro-abortion female friends would agree with me–any guy who goes out of his to talk about how pro-abortion or pro-”women’s health” he is, comes across as a real cad. Just sayin’.)

    Being a white male Christian oppressor, I’m always a bit reluctant to discuss my views in mixed company. It’s always good to hear that the guy who tries to play the cool understanding progressive with women’s issues isn’t necessarily coming across that way.

  • formerly just steve

    Kate,

    (And my pro-abortion female friends would agree with me–any guy who goes out of his to talk about how pro-abortion or pro-”women’s health” he is, comes across as a real cad. Just sayin’.)

    Being a white male Christian oppressor, I’m always a bit reluctant to discuss my views in mixed company. It’s always good to hear that the guy who tries to play the cool understanding progressive with women’s issues isn’t necessarily coming across that way.

  • Michael B.

    “Because all women wish to control their fertility. And if they’re not, they’re brainwashed or idiots”

    You’re more or less correct. It’s usually a combination of being brought up in an extremely closed-minded family, combined with less-than-average intelligence. I wouldn’t go so far to say “idiot”, but definitely lower than average intelligence. Find a smart woman who wants her birth decisions being made by somebody else.

  • Michael B.

    “Because all women wish to control their fertility. And if they’re not, they’re brainwashed or idiots”

    You’re more or less correct. It’s usually a combination of being brought up in an extremely closed-minded family, combined with less-than-average intelligence. I wouldn’t go so far to say “idiot”, but definitely lower than average intelligence. Find a smart woman who wants her birth decisions being made by somebody else.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.:

    Wow. You must be a real hit at parties.

    You and JimB should start a club: “Assholes Anonymous.”

    (Sorry but that–or something like it–needed to be said)

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.:

    Wow. You must be a real hit at parties.

    You and JimB should start a club: “Assholes Anonymous.”

    (Sorry but that–or something like it–needed to be said)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Would you rather your 14 year old daughter get the flu or get pregnant?

    Merrily we troll along, troll along, troll along, troll along…

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Would you rather your 14 year old daughter get the flu or get pregnant?

    Merrily we troll along, troll along, troll along, troll along…

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    contraception is often prescribed for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. For example, it is an effective treatment for severely painful menstrual cycles and chronic acne.

    Define effective. It is only effective for a subset of sufferers. I know from first hand experience, that it does not help at all for some people. It is much more effective at its intended function, but still not 100%.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    contraception is often prescribed for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. For example, it is an effective treatment for severely painful menstrual cycles and chronic acne.

    Define effective. It is only effective for a subset of sufferers. I know from first hand experience, that it does not help at all for some people. It is much more effective at its intended function, but still not 100%.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Find a smart woman who wants her birth decisions being made by somebody else.

    You need to get out more. You sound totally closed-minded and of lower intelligence, aka trollish.

    http://concordiansisters.blogspot.com

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Find a smart woman who wants her birth decisions being made by somebody else.

    You need to get out more. You sound totally closed-minded and of lower intelligence, aka trollish.

    http://concordiansisters.blogspot.com

  • SKPeterson

    Wow. Just absolutely wow. And those of us who think birth control shouldn’t be a free give-away program mandated by some bureaucracy in D.C. are the “extremists”? JimB and Michael you’re doing a grave disservice to your side by your overwrought emotionalism.

    And JimB there is more contemporary textual evidence for the existence of Mary than there is for Socrates or Plato or even Aristotle. In fact, I bet most ancient Greek philosophy was actually made up by Virgil (actually he is probably just a composite construct of several different minor Roman and Latin rulers molded to justify the Roman state to illiterate populace), who isn’t the real Virgil, who may have only written just the sketch outline of the works going by his name, but rather we should properly refer to the Virgilist School that produced the various works comprising the Aeneid.

    Don’t even get me started on Ovid.

  • SKPeterson

    Wow. Just absolutely wow. And those of us who think birth control shouldn’t be a free give-away program mandated by some bureaucracy in D.C. are the “extremists”? JimB and Michael you’re doing a grave disservice to your side by your overwrought emotionalism.

    And JimB there is more contemporary textual evidence for the existence of Mary than there is for Socrates or Plato or even Aristotle. In fact, I bet most ancient Greek philosophy was actually made up by Virgil (actually he is probably just a composite construct of several different minor Roman and Latin rulers molded to justify the Roman state to illiterate populace), who isn’t the real Virgil, who may have only written just the sketch outline of the works going by his name, but rather we should properly refer to the Virgilist School that produced the various works comprising the Aeneid.

    Don’t even get me started on Ovid.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Should all preteen girls be on the pill or something?

    Doesn’t the question just answer itself?

    I mean, if you don’t, then the girls are punished for having sex!!!

    I don’t know about preteen, but girls age 15-20 are far and away more sexually appealing than older women. Why would any man in his right mind want those girls to be anything other than 100% available for consequence free sex?!

    Seriously Cinci, when was the last time you saw a 15-20 year old girl?

    (sarcasm)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Should all preteen girls be on the pill or something?

    Doesn’t the question just answer itself?

    I mean, if you don’t, then the girls are punished for having sex!!!

    I don’t know about preteen, but girls age 15-20 are far and away more sexually appealing than older women. Why would any man in his right mind want those girls to be anything other than 100% available for consequence free sex?!

    Seriously Cinci, when was the last time you saw a 15-20 year old girl?

    (sarcasm)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 31

    Seriously, learn to use google.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

    Only 28% of women use the pill for contraception.

    Don’t blame Christians for these stats. They were compiled by Guttmacher.

    As for what commenters here may or may not do, why not just assume for argument’s sake that as a group we are similar to the percentages observed in the general population.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 31

    Seriously, learn to use google.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

    Only 28% of women use the pill for contraception.

    Don’t blame Christians for these stats. They were compiled by Guttmacher.

    As for what commenters here may or may not do, why not just assume for argument’s sake that as a group we are similar to the percentages observed in the general population.

  • #4 Kitty

    You and JimB should start a club: “Assholes Anonymous.”

    Who hacked into Cincinnatus’ account?

  • #4 Kitty

    You and JimB should start a club: “Assholes Anonymous.”

    Who hacked into Cincinnatus’ account?

  • #4 Kitty

    @58

    Define effective. It is only effective for a subset of sufferers

    I suppose I’m using the word “effective” the same way you’ve used it in the second sentence above. I don’t believe that the word connotes 100% success. For example an effective defense for a basketball team does not mean that the opposing team did not score.

  • #4 Kitty

    @58

    Define effective. It is only effective for a subset of sufferers

    I suppose I’m using the word “effective” the same way you’ve used it in the second sentence above. I don’t believe that the word connotes 100% success. For example an effective defense for a basketball team does not mean that the opposing team did not score.

  • #4 Kitty

    @60

    And JimB there is more contemporary textual evidence for the existence of Mary than there is for Socrates or Plato or even Aristotle.

    That still does not demonstrate that she ever existed.

  • #4 Kitty

    @60

    And JimB there is more contemporary textual evidence for the existence of Mary than there is for Socrates or Plato or even Aristotle.

    That still does not demonstrate that she ever existed.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    That still does not demonstrate that she ever existed.

    Not with 100% metaphysical certainty. But in that case, we can’t prove anyone ever existed. By the usual means of establishing historical figures, Mary is better attested than many folks whose existence is not ever challenged. Anyway, the fool said, “Dude. No evidence exists for her actual existence.” Clearly that isn’t true. There is evidence, whether it is sufficient seems more dependent on the one weighing the evidence than the usual standards for such evidence.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    That still does not demonstrate that she ever existed.

    Not with 100% metaphysical certainty. But in that case, we can’t prove anyone ever existed. By the usual means of establishing historical figures, Mary is better attested than many folks whose existence is not ever challenged. Anyway, the fool said, “Dude. No evidence exists for her actual existence.” Clearly that isn’t true. There is evidence, whether it is sufficient seems more dependent on the one weighing the evidence than the usual standards for such evidence.

  • formerly just steve

    Kitty #65, that’s why I asked by what standard. If you want to take it to the extreme, we really can’t demonstrate with 100% certainty that anyone who is more than a few generations removed from the living ever really existed. But we look at evidence of varying degrees of reliability and take the rest on faith. If you say we don’t know if Mary ever existed you must say the same for every major figure in antiquity. It’s fine if you want to do that, but it makes for excruciating conversation.

  • formerly just steve

    Kitty #65, that’s why I asked by what standard. If you want to take it to the extreme, we really can’t demonstrate with 100% certainty that anyone who is more than a few generations removed from the living ever really existed. But we look at evidence of varying degrees of reliability and take the rest on faith. If you say we don’t know if Mary ever existed you must say the same for every major figure in antiquity. It’s fine if you want to do that, but it makes for excruciating conversation.

  • Kate

    “You’re more or less correct. It’s usually a combination of being brought up in an extremely closed-minded family, combined with less-than-average intelligence. I wouldn’t go so far to say “idiot”, but definitely lower than average intelligence. Find a smart woman who wants her birth decisions being made by somebody else.”

    (Merriam Webster: closed-minded: obstinately resistant to argument or to unfamiliar or unwelcome ideas.)

    You are assuming someone has control (e.g. the man). And you are assuming the woman will always wish fewer children than her partner. (You also seem to assume women and men are fundamentally at battle with one another, forever.)

    Ignoring any religious or metaphysical arguments, what if two folks just like monogamous sex without latex or artificial hormones (or even a chart and thermometer), and what if those folks just get pretty happy when making love happens to make a baby? If that makes me lower-than-intelligent, I guess I’m an idiot :)

    Besides being tired of certain groups claiming to speak for all women everywhere (and people believing them), I also weary of this endless stream of “rights.”

    I enjoyed Esolen’s article. I’m sorry distracting and irrelevant comments have derailed the discussion.

  • Kate

    “You’re more or less correct. It’s usually a combination of being brought up in an extremely closed-minded family, combined with less-than-average intelligence. I wouldn’t go so far to say “idiot”, but definitely lower than average intelligence. Find a smart woman who wants her birth decisions being made by somebody else.”

    (Merriam Webster: closed-minded: obstinately resistant to argument or to unfamiliar or unwelcome ideas.)

    You are assuming someone has control (e.g. the man). And you are assuming the woman will always wish fewer children than her partner. (You also seem to assume women and men are fundamentally at battle with one another, forever.)

    Ignoring any religious or metaphysical arguments, what if two folks just like monogamous sex without latex or artificial hormones (or even a chart and thermometer), and what if those folks just get pretty happy when making love happens to make a baby? If that makes me lower-than-intelligent, I guess I’m an idiot :)

    Besides being tired of certain groups claiming to speak for all women everywhere (and people believing them), I also weary of this endless stream of “rights.”

    I enjoyed Esolen’s article. I’m sorry distracting and irrelevant comments have derailed the discussion.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B (@35), look, all you’re doing is projecting your notion of what is “good” or “creepy” onto the framework of health. If you want to do that, okay, but you’d have to pretty ignorant to believe that everyone is going to agree to your own personal feelings on the matter. I mean, literally, ignorant — you seem particularly hellbent on ignoring most of history, and not a few billion of the world’s current inhabitants.

    Meanwhile, this started out as a discussion on health care, not on your own personal mores (which you apparently think everyone should share, to the point where you can’t even imagine that someone would think differently from you). So your insisting that pregnant 14-year-olds (or 12-year-olds) are, ipso facto, unhealthy is just silly. A point you continue to miss. Apparently on purpose?

    What’s funny is that I happen to share your own personal feelings about pregnant 14-year-olds. I don’t think that it’s likely a good idea for that to happen. But I say that only with respect to my own nation and culture. I respect that other nations and cultures may have different ideas on the matter. I’m also aware that my own personal opinion on the matter doesn’t (and, really, shouldn’t) matter to anybody else — at least, until such time as my children are in their teens, which is quite a while off.

    However, I think it’s funny that “liberals” as yourself are so dismissive of other cultures, as well as those within your own culture who don’t think in lock-step with you. Ah, tolerance and diversity!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B (@35), look, all you’re doing is projecting your notion of what is “good” or “creepy” onto the framework of health. If you want to do that, okay, but you’d have to pretty ignorant to believe that everyone is going to agree to your own personal feelings on the matter. I mean, literally, ignorant — you seem particularly hellbent on ignoring most of history, and not a few billion of the world’s current inhabitants.

    Meanwhile, this started out as a discussion on health care, not on your own personal mores (which you apparently think everyone should share, to the point where you can’t even imagine that someone would think differently from you). So your insisting that pregnant 14-year-olds (or 12-year-olds) are, ipso facto, unhealthy is just silly. A point you continue to miss. Apparently on purpose?

    What’s funny is that I happen to share your own personal feelings about pregnant 14-year-olds. I don’t think that it’s likely a good idea for that to happen. But I say that only with respect to my own nation and culture. I respect that other nations and cultures may have different ideas on the matter. I’m also aware that my own personal opinion on the matter doesn’t (and, really, shouldn’t) matter to anybody else — at least, until such time as my children are in their teens, which is quite a while off.

    However, I think it’s funny that “liberals” as yourself are so dismissive of other cultures, as well as those within your own culture who don’t think in lock-step with you. Ah, tolerance and diversity!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JimB (@46), you’re funny.

    Geez. What a bunch of idiots. The only reason any of you are opposed to providing free or low cost birth control is because you think women should be punished for having sex.

    I think it’s funny that someone capable of being so ignorant of other people’s viewpoints (see your last sentence there) is calling others “idiots”. It would seem it takes some intelligence to be able to understand your oppenent’s argument, even if you disagree with it.

    You can’t use money as an argument. Birth control is pretty cheap to manufacture these days. This is not a huge investment by any health care provider. And the fact is that there are a lot of low income women that CANNOT afford birth control.

    Birth control: it’s cheap … when we’re demanding that others pay for it. But it’s really expensive … when we’re being asked to cover it ourselves. How much does birth control cost? Ask Schrödinger’s cat! It is simultaneously expensive and dirt-cheap!

    And while condoms are usually available and relatively low cost. There are a lot of MEN that refuse to use them.

    I’m just one of several idiots here, but it seems to me that just might be an issue between the man and woman involved. If she wants him to use a condom, and he refuses, and she just has to have sex with him anyhow, even though he’s completely ignoring her wishes … maybe that’s, you know, not my (by which I mean, all of our) problem to pay for, much less resolve?

    You’re just stupid if you don’t see how much more fiscally responsible it is to provide free or low cost birth control to everybody. Period.

    That’s right, folks. You’re just stupid. Also stupid? The actuaries who run the health insurance companies. Yes, the same health insurance companies that have somehow managed to rake in money hand-over-fist, year after year! They’re run by idiots who don’t know how to make money! They could be saving untold gazillions of dollars by covering contraception, but they haven’t figured this out (perhaps they’re too busy counting their profits?), so they need a government mandate just so they can make more money.

    You all have to climb up on your high horses and sneer down at the sluts and whores below you.

    Do you have no irony/hypocrisy sensor whatsoever, JimB? I mean, honestly. Tell me I’m an “idiot” again, or how “stupid” I am. And then read the above sentence again. Slowly.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JimB (@46), you’re funny.

    Geez. What a bunch of idiots. The only reason any of you are opposed to providing free or low cost birth control is because you think women should be punished for having sex.

    I think it’s funny that someone capable of being so ignorant of other people’s viewpoints (see your last sentence there) is calling others “idiots”. It would seem it takes some intelligence to be able to understand your oppenent’s argument, even if you disagree with it.

    You can’t use money as an argument. Birth control is pretty cheap to manufacture these days. This is not a huge investment by any health care provider. And the fact is that there are a lot of low income women that CANNOT afford birth control.

    Birth control: it’s cheap … when we’re demanding that others pay for it. But it’s really expensive … when we’re being asked to cover it ourselves. How much does birth control cost? Ask Schrödinger’s cat! It is simultaneously expensive and dirt-cheap!

    And while condoms are usually available and relatively low cost. There are a lot of MEN that refuse to use them.

    I’m just one of several idiots here, but it seems to me that just might be an issue between the man and woman involved. If she wants him to use a condom, and he refuses, and she just has to have sex with him anyhow, even though he’s completely ignoring her wishes … maybe that’s, you know, not my (by which I mean, all of our) problem to pay for, much less resolve?

    You’re just stupid if you don’t see how much more fiscally responsible it is to provide free or low cost birth control to everybody. Period.

    That’s right, folks. You’re just stupid. Also stupid? The actuaries who run the health insurance companies. Yes, the same health insurance companies that have somehow managed to rake in money hand-over-fist, year after year! They’re run by idiots who don’t know how to make money! They could be saving untold gazillions of dollars by covering contraception, but they haven’t figured this out (perhaps they’re too busy counting their profits?), so they need a government mandate just so they can make more money.

    You all have to climb up on your high horses and sneer down at the sluts and whores below you.

    Do you have no irony/hypocrisy sensor whatsoever, JimB? I mean, honestly. Tell me I’m an “idiot” again, or how “stupid” I am. And then read the above sentence again. Slowly.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Imagine, if you will, Michael B (@55) at a party.

    MB: “Hey, babe, lookin’ good! You should know, I am one progressive dude. I love — and respect — the ladies! I am the man who will fight for your honor. I’ll be the hero that you’re thinking of.”
    Woman: “Are … are you quoting Peter Cetera to me? Do you think that’ll work?”
    MB: “I am, and I do. Ladies love Cetera. And I respect the ladies. Let’s get it on.”
    W: “Yeah, that’s … that’s not working at all.”
    MB: “Do not fear pregnancy. I do not intend to get you pregnant through my actions. Though I don’t have any condoms on my person, it is my intent that you take birth control so that no offspring are the result of our liasons. I respect your desire to control your reproductive health.”
    W: “Actually, I don’t use birth control.”
    MB: “YOU MONGOLOID WHORE! WHAT ARE YOU, AMISH? I CAN’T BELIEVE I WANTED TO ‘DO IT’ WITH SOMEONE WHOSE IQ IS SO CLEARLY INFERIOR TO MY OWN. THAT IS IT. I AM GOING TO GIVE MY SPERM TO A WOMAN WHO HAS THE INTELLIGENCE NOT TO DISAGREE WITH ME. EVER. HOW DARE YOU THINK OTHERWISE? YOU WOMEN ARE SOOOO STUPID! I REALLY WISH YOU’D NEVER BEEN GIVEN THE VOTE.”
    W: “Does … does this mean this conversation’s finally over? Because I think I see anybody else I’d like to talk to, over there.”
    MB: [Finding another woman] “Hey babe, lookin’ good!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Imagine, if you will, Michael B (@55) at a party.

    MB: “Hey, babe, lookin’ good! You should know, I am one progressive dude. I love — and respect — the ladies! I am the man who will fight for your honor. I’ll be the hero that you’re thinking of.”
    Woman: “Are … are you quoting Peter Cetera to me? Do you think that’ll work?”
    MB: “I am, and I do. Ladies love Cetera. And I respect the ladies. Let’s get it on.”
    W: “Yeah, that’s … that’s not working at all.”
    MB: “Do not fear pregnancy. I do not intend to get you pregnant through my actions. Though I don’t have any condoms on my person, it is my intent that you take birth control so that no offspring are the result of our liasons. I respect your desire to control your reproductive health.”
    W: “Actually, I don’t use birth control.”
    MB: “YOU MONGOLOID WHORE! WHAT ARE YOU, AMISH? I CAN’T BELIEVE I WANTED TO ‘DO IT’ WITH SOMEONE WHOSE IQ IS SO CLEARLY INFERIOR TO MY OWN. THAT IS IT. I AM GOING TO GIVE MY SPERM TO A WOMAN WHO HAS THE INTELLIGENCE NOT TO DISAGREE WITH ME. EVER. HOW DARE YOU THINK OTHERWISE? YOU WOMEN ARE SOOOO STUPID! I REALLY WISH YOU’D NEVER BEEN GIVEN THE VOTE.”
    W: “Does … does this mean this conversation’s finally over? Because I think I see anybody else I’d like to talk to, over there.”
    MB: [Finding another woman] “Hey babe, lookin’ good!”

  • Booklover

    “Mongoloid Whore”

    Thanks, Todd, for my laugh this early Sunday morning. :-)

  • Booklover

    “Mongoloid Whore”

    Thanks, Todd, for my laugh this early Sunday morning. :-)

  • Michael B.

    @Cincinnatus
    “You and JimB should start a club: “Assholes Anonymous.””

    It appears you feel that me and a couple others have been disrespectful to you. Leaving respect aside, name one thing I’ve said that isn’t true. It seems you and others have become too comfortable is your own small world, where it’s acceptable to advocate crazy things about homosexuals, women, and non-Christians. If you feel some of us on the forum have been unduly disrespectful to you, I have a suggestion for you: Find any kind of public or secular institution –the workplace, college, a court room, politics, television, or whatever — and then state the views you’ve said on here, and then see what happens.

    Small religious groups and anonymous online forums like this are becoming the only places where talk like yours is acceptable. America is becoming much more intolerant toward religious fundamentalism, even in the last 5 years. It’s no coincidence that someone like Romney represents your best hope this election.

  • Michael B.

    @Cincinnatus
    “You and JimB should start a club: “Assholes Anonymous.””

    It appears you feel that me and a couple others have been disrespectful to you. Leaving respect aside, name one thing I’ve said that isn’t true. It seems you and others have become too comfortable is your own small world, where it’s acceptable to advocate crazy things about homosexuals, women, and non-Christians. If you feel some of us on the forum have been unduly disrespectful to you, I have a suggestion for you: Find any kind of public or secular institution –the workplace, college, a court room, politics, television, or whatever — and then state the views you’ve said on here, and then see what happens.

    Small religious groups and anonymous online forums like this are becoming the only places where talk like yours is acceptable. America is becoming much more intolerant toward religious fundamentalism, even in the last 5 years. It’s no coincidence that someone like Romney represents your best hope this election.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael, Michael, Michael,

    Your comment hardly merits a response, but I’m inclined to provide one on this leisurely Sunday afternoon. First, I haven’t been personally offended or “disrespected” by anything you’ve said. Your comments have been far too stupid and insolent to be offensive. Shall I really “name one thing [you've] said that isn’t true”? Perhaps we can begin with your erroneous (and I’m being very generous here) that any woman who avoids chemical contraception is “stupid,” suffering from a false consciousness imposed by her domineering husband. What a small-minded, bigoted, and, more to the point, unsubstantiated claim to make! It’s unbelievably rich–an embarrassment de riches–that you’re lecturing me on bigotry and insanity! I’m the crazy bigot, apparently, even though everyone who disagrees with you on the question of contraception (among others, the entire Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, many Protestants, etc., etc.) are “crazy.”

    And exactly what views of mine would be “unacceptable” in “the workplace, college, courtroom,” ad infinitum? I work at a highly secular, progressive university, so I know full well that certain of my views are unpopular. But here? All I’ve said is that elective contraception is not a question of health. This is a fact, and I’ve said so in mixed company. I haven’t been ostracized, etc. The bubble in which you live and think must be very small.

    As for your second paragraph, come on. I’m hardly a religious fundamentalism, but in what possible universe do you applaud an American that is “intolerant” toward religion and religious practitioners? How is that a good thing? Have you read the Constitution? A history book? I don’t like fundamentalists either, but a society too intolerant to accept the presence of a few Bible-thumpers is too intolerant for me. Meanwhile, Romney? What’s he got to do with it? I loathe Romney.

    Geez, why am I even responding to you? Comments like yours–asinine bigotry, not thoughtful disagreement–are the reason I’ve begun to minimize my participation on this blog.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael, Michael, Michael,

    Your comment hardly merits a response, but I’m inclined to provide one on this leisurely Sunday afternoon. First, I haven’t been personally offended or “disrespected” by anything you’ve said. Your comments have been far too stupid and insolent to be offensive. Shall I really “name one thing [you've] said that isn’t true”? Perhaps we can begin with your erroneous (and I’m being very generous here) that any woman who avoids chemical contraception is “stupid,” suffering from a false consciousness imposed by her domineering husband. What a small-minded, bigoted, and, more to the point, unsubstantiated claim to make! It’s unbelievably rich–an embarrassment de riches–that you’re lecturing me on bigotry and insanity! I’m the crazy bigot, apparently, even though everyone who disagrees with you on the question of contraception (among others, the entire Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, many Protestants, etc., etc.) are “crazy.”

    And exactly what views of mine would be “unacceptable” in “the workplace, college, courtroom,” ad infinitum? I work at a highly secular, progressive university, so I know full well that certain of my views are unpopular. But here? All I’ve said is that elective contraception is not a question of health. This is a fact, and I’ve said so in mixed company. I haven’t been ostracized, etc. The bubble in which you live and think must be very small.

    As for your second paragraph, come on. I’m hardly a religious fundamentalism, but in what possible universe do you applaud an American that is “intolerant” toward religion and religious practitioners? How is that a good thing? Have you read the Constitution? A history book? I don’t like fundamentalists either, but a society too intolerant to accept the presence of a few Bible-thumpers is too intolerant for me. Meanwhile, Romney? What’s he got to do with it? I loathe Romney.

    Geez, why am I even responding to you? Comments like yours–asinine bigotry, not thoughtful disagreement–are the reason I’ve begun to minimize my participation on this blog.

  • Med Student

    If it’s unacceptable outside of “small religious groups and anonymous online forums” to believe that if you want to have sex without getting pregnant then you should pay for your own damn birth control, then I’m very afraid for where our society is headed. Last I checked, there is no fundamental constitutional right to free birth control, but there is a fundamental constitutional right to free exercise of religion, which includes the right not to pay for people to kill their own offspring with abortifacient drugs. I’m not against people using birth control methods per se, and I understand that hormones that prevent conception are also used for medical purposes like PCOS. I do have a problem with people who insist that the right to access to something equates to the right to have someone else pay for it. If you’re concerned that poor people can’t afford birth control, then set up or donate to a charity that provides it for them instead of insisting that religious organizations violate their conscience to provide something that is not a right and never has been.
    Oh, but pay no attention to me, I’m just one of those brainwashed, stupid females who only believes all this because a man told me to. How did I ever manage to get into a top medical school with such low intelligence that I actually believe a woman (or man) should be responsible for their own sexual behavior and the results of such reproductive activities instead of demanding that society relieve me of the consequences of my actions?!

  • Med Student

    If it’s unacceptable outside of “small religious groups and anonymous online forums” to believe that if you want to have sex without getting pregnant then you should pay for your own damn birth control, then I’m very afraid for where our society is headed. Last I checked, there is no fundamental constitutional right to free birth control, but there is a fundamental constitutional right to free exercise of religion, which includes the right not to pay for people to kill their own offspring with abortifacient drugs. I’m not against people using birth control methods per se, and I understand that hormones that prevent conception are also used for medical purposes like PCOS. I do have a problem with people who insist that the right to access to something equates to the right to have someone else pay for it. If you’re concerned that poor people can’t afford birth control, then set up or donate to a charity that provides it for them instead of insisting that religious organizations violate their conscience to provide something that is not a right and never has been.
    Oh, but pay no attention to me, I’m just one of those brainwashed, stupid females who only believes all this because a man told me to. How did I ever manage to get into a top medical school with such low intelligence that I actually believe a woman (or man) should be responsible for their own sexual behavior and the results of such reproductive activities instead of demanding that society relieve me of the consequences of my actions?!

  • formerly just steve

    lol @ Peter Cetera.

  • formerly just steve

    lol @ Peter Cetera.

  • Michael B.

    @Med Student
    “I’m just one of those brainwashed, stupid females who only believes all this because a man told me to. How did I ever manage to get into a top medical school with such low intelligence”

    I doubt your claim that you’re in medical school. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not typical that bright people such as medical students believe that women shouldn’t have control over their reproductive decisions. I mean, how many medical students do you know that think the birth control pill is morally wrong?

  • Michael B.

    @Med Student
    “I’m just one of those brainwashed, stupid females who only believes all this because a man told me to. How did I ever manage to get into a top medical school with such low intelligence”

    I doubt your claim that you’re in medical school. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not typical that bright people such as medical students believe that women shouldn’t have control over their reproductive decisions. I mean, how many medical students do you know that think the birth control pill is morally wrong?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I mean, how many medical students do you know that think the birth control pill is morally wrong?

    It’s not like med school is a free speech zone. If my supervisor were a bigot like Michael B, I don’t think I would go around spouting my unsolicited opinions and inviting retaliation.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I mean, how many medical students do you know that think the birth control pill is morally wrong?

    It’s not like med school is a free speech zone. If my supervisor were a bigot like Michael B, I don’t think I would go around spouting my unsolicited opinions and inviting retaliation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B said (@74):

    It appears you feel that me and a couple others have been disrespectful to you.

    “Disrespectful”? You? Golly, that’s such a strong word. I mean, I’d hate to make you feel bad just because you’ve accused people here of not being “in their right mind” (@1), “slow or creepy” (@37), “closed-minded” and of “less-than-average intelligence” (@56). I mean, sure, you toss out ad-hominems like so many orangutans tossing their feces — indeed, that appears to be your primary debate tactic. But “disrespectful”? You? Golly.

    Leaving respect aside…

    Oh, are you doing that? Again?

    …name one thing I’ve said that isn’t true.

    Well, we can start with when you said “I think” (@1). Oh, no disrespect intended.

    It seems you and others have become too comfortable is your own small world…

    Said the man who literally can’t comprehend (@14) “how anyone in their right mind” could imagine a pregnant 14-year-old might be considered “healthy”, in spite of the vast number of cultures, both historical and modern, that would disagree with him. Yes, let’s take a lecture on living in insular echo chambers from a man who literally believes that women who disagree with him on certain matters are of “lower than average intelligence”. Yes, all hail Michael B., Master of Diversity!

    And, though I know you won’t believe me (so vast is your cosmopolitan experience that you likely simply cannot comprehend an anecdote such as this being true), I live in central Portland, Oregon — a town not exactly known for its conservative qualities (George H. W. Bush once called it “Little Beirut”), much less its Christianity (Oregon is one of the least-churched states). Most of my close friends are atheists (or some flavor thereof), and the closest any of them come to being Republican is leaning Democratic with libertarian underpinnings. In spite of all this, they remain my good friends, and I frequently discuss political matters with some of them. Yes, even though we disagree. They are all vastly more capable of understanding and interacting with divergent viewpoints than you are.

    So I know that your asinine behavior here is not simply because you’re a liberal. It goes deeper than that, Michael.

    Small religious groups and anonymous online forums like this are becoming the only places where talk like yours is acceptable.

    “Acceptable”. Said the man who encouraged us to broaden our spheres.

    America is becoming much more intolerant toward religious fundamentalism.

    Said with apparent approval, again, by the man who … oh, who am I kidding? You’re just not going to see the irony, are you? Here, I’ll try to make you feel better by pretending to side with you: Yay, intolerance! Whee! Yippee!

    It’s no coincidence that someone like Romney represents your best hope this election.

    Dude. [Blank stare] … Okay, I … No, I’ll just pretend to side with you again. Anything else would just be too subtle for you. Yes, Romney. We all vote Romney. And Republican. Me love Republican. And two-party system. Yessss. Romney. Me vote Romney.

    Please keep commenting here, Michael. You’re the best.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B said (@74):

    It appears you feel that me and a couple others have been disrespectful to you.

    “Disrespectful”? You? Golly, that’s such a strong word. I mean, I’d hate to make you feel bad just because you’ve accused people here of not being “in their right mind” (@1), “slow or creepy” (@37), “closed-minded” and of “less-than-average intelligence” (@56). I mean, sure, you toss out ad-hominems like so many orangutans tossing their feces — indeed, that appears to be your primary debate tactic. But “disrespectful”? You? Golly.

    Leaving respect aside…

    Oh, are you doing that? Again?

    …name one thing I’ve said that isn’t true.

    Well, we can start with when you said “I think” (@1). Oh, no disrespect intended.

    It seems you and others have become too comfortable is your own small world…

    Said the man who literally can’t comprehend (@14) “how anyone in their right mind” could imagine a pregnant 14-year-old might be considered “healthy”, in spite of the vast number of cultures, both historical and modern, that would disagree with him. Yes, let’s take a lecture on living in insular echo chambers from a man who literally believes that women who disagree with him on certain matters are of “lower than average intelligence”. Yes, all hail Michael B., Master of Diversity!

    And, though I know you won’t believe me (so vast is your cosmopolitan experience that you likely simply cannot comprehend an anecdote such as this being true), I live in central Portland, Oregon — a town not exactly known for its conservative qualities (George H. W. Bush once called it “Little Beirut”), much less its Christianity (Oregon is one of the least-churched states). Most of my close friends are atheists (or some flavor thereof), and the closest any of them come to being Republican is leaning Democratic with libertarian underpinnings. In spite of all this, they remain my good friends, and I frequently discuss political matters with some of them. Yes, even though we disagree. They are all vastly more capable of understanding and interacting with divergent viewpoints than you are.

    So I know that your asinine behavior here is not simply because you’re a liberal. It goes deeper than that, Michael.

    Small religious groups and anonymous online forums like this are becoming the only places where talk like yours is acceptable.

    “Acceptable”. Said the man who encouraged us to broaden our spheres.

    America is becoming much more intolerant toward religious fundamentalism.

    Said with apparent approval, again, by the man who … oh, who am I kidding? You’re just not going to see the irony, are you? Here, I’ll try to make you feel better by pretending to side with you: Yay, intolerance! Whee! Yippee!

    It’s no coincidence that someone like Romney represents your best hope this election.

    Dude. [Blank stare] … Okay, I … No, I’ll just pretend to side with you again. Anything else would just be too subtle for you. Yes, Romney. We all vote Romney. And Republican. Me love Republican. And two-party system. Yessss. Romney. Me vote Romney.

    Please keep commenting here, Michael. You’re the best.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B also said (@78):

    I doubt your claim that you’re in medical school.

    Of course you do. Because that’s what intelligent people do when they come upon a divergent opinion: They just simply doubt every single fact posited by the person holding that opinion.

    I mean, when your worldview is as ginormously gargantuan as Michael B’s, you simply know that when people disagree with you in any way, odds are, they’re fibbing.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not typical that bright people…

    Boy, and if there’s one thing Michael B knows, it’s bright people! (And by “bright people”, I mean “people who agree with Michael B in a lockstep fashion”. And who probably aren’t women.)

    …believe that women shouldn’t have control over their reproductive decisions.

    I … I’m sorry, but have I misconstrued your intent here? Are you actually attempting some incredibly savvy reductio ad absurdum mockery of liberals, and I’ve just missed it? Because if so, bravo! You’ve really made a pitch-perfect pass at depicting how to miss the point.

    Anyhow, best of luck as you pursue your doctorate in debating, Michael.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B also said (@78):

    I doubt your claim that you’re in medical school.

    Of course you do. Because that’s what intelligent people do when they come upon a divergent opinion: They just simply doubt every single fact posited by the person holding that opinion.

    I mean, when your worldview is as ginormously gargantuan as Michael B’s, you simply know that when people disagree with you in any way, odds are, they’re fibbing.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not typical that bright people…

    Boy, and if there’s one thing Michael B knows, it’s bright people! (And by “bright people”, I mean “people who agree with Michael B in a lockstep fashion”. And who probably aren’t women.)

    …believe that women shouldn’t have control over their reproductive decisions.

    I … I’m sorry, but have I misconstrued your intent here? Are you actually attempting some incredibly savvy reductio ad absurdum mockery of liberals, and I’ve just missed it? Because if so, bravo! You’ve really made a pitch-perfect pass at depicting how to miss the point.

    Anyhow, best of luck as you pursue your doctorate in debating, Michael.

  • elizabeth

    Michael @ 35 “I must have skipped over this post. Wow. I thought I was making the hurdle pretty easy to jump over by stating that it’s not healthy for 14-year olds to be having babies. I’ll make it even easier, so that even you will have to admit that pregnancy is often not healthy. The median age of a girl’s first period is 12 or 13. Most girls have their first periods between 9 and 15. So about half of girls have had their periods before leaving elementary school. A girl who is 9 is in 3rd or 4th grade. Just because she can get pregnant doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And yes, I realize around the world there are many places that have child brides and mothers. This is physically possible, but is it healthy? Dear god, man.”

    So are you arguing that it is “healthy” to pay for contraception for 9 year olds so they are not “punished” for having sex?

  • elizabeth

    Michael @ 35 “I must have skipped over this post. Wow. I thought I was making the hurdle pretty easy to jump over by stating that it’s not healthy for 14-year olds to be having babies. I’ll make it even easier, so that even you will have to admit that pregnancy is often not healthy. The median age of a girl’s first period is 12 or 13. Most girls have their first periods between 9 and 15. So about half of girls have had their periods before leaving elementary school. A girl who is 9 is in 3rd or 4th grade. Just because she can get pregnant doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And yes, I realize around the world there are many places that have child brides and mothers. This is physically possible, but is it healthy? Dear god, man.”

    So are you arguing that it is “healthy” to pay for contraception for 9 year olds so they are not “punished” for having sex?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So I know that your asinine behavior here is not simply because you’re a liberal. It goes deeper than that, Michael.”

    Michael B is not liberal.

    Just look at his intolerance. That alone shows you he isn’t liberal. Liberal is not a synonym for anti conservative. People like Michael want very strict albeit different rules. They are less liberal than your average conservative.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So I know that your asinine behavior here is not simply because you’re a liberal. It goes deeper than that, Michael.”

    Michael B is not liberal.

    Just look at his intolerance. That alone shows you he isn’t liberal. Liberal is not a synonym for anti conservative. People like Michael want very strict albeit different rules. They are less liberal than your average conservative.

  • formerly just steve

    tODD, #81

    I … I’m sorry, but have I misconstrued your intent here? Are you actually attempting some incredibly savvy reductio ad absurdum mockery of liberals, and I’ve just missed it? Because if so, bravo! You’ve really made a pitch-perfect pass at depicting how to miss the point.

    I suspect Michael is at least smart enough to know what the point is. He’s either not intelligent enough, or too lazy to build up an argument for the real point so he brings along his bag of straw to the debate. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since he’s a liberal, thus obviously intelligent, and say he’s just too lazy.

  • formerly just steve

    tODD, #81

    I … I’m sorry, but have I misconstrued your intent here? Are you actually attempting some incredibly savvy reductio ad absurdum mockery of liberals, and I’ve just missed it? Because if so, bravo! You’ve really made a pitch-perfect pass at depicting how to miss the point.

    I suspect Michael is at least smart enough to know what the point is. He’s either not intelligent enough, or too lazy to build up an argument for the real point so he brings along his bag of straw to the debate. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since he’s a liberal, thus obviously intelligent, and say he’s just too lazy.


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