To hear some people talk, if the government doesn’t guarantee access to “free” birth control, it amounts to a ban on birth control. This is no more than statism thinly disguised [as usual] as compassion. Because we count on the government to take care of us.
Also [beside my point] go read those links and be treated to an astounding display of ignorance about how employer-based insurance really works. I’m going to have to assume they’re lying, just to preserve [these final pitiful shreds of] my faith in humanity.
On the other hand, you could read James Taranto’s column and get the idea that birth control is the root of all of society’s ills. You might even wish it had never been invented. This is not statism, necessarily; few people support illegalization, after all. [And that’s totally a word.]
The widespread availability of birth control technology did coincide with a number of serious cultural changes in this country. But to claim that birth control made them happen is just confusing co-incidence with causality. [Good discussion here.] It occurs to me that my birth also coincided with the beginnings of some of these cultural shifts [close, anyway]; maybe Taranto would like to blame me. Bring it on, Jimmy, I could use the traffic.
Getting right down to it, birth control presented a set of options to women, and to men, that was different than the set of options available before. That’s all. Saying that birth control is itself responsible for declining marriage rates, increasing divorce rates, single-parent households, et cetera, is exactly like saying that outlawing guns will reduce crime. It’s saying that fast food causes obesity, that credit cards cause debt, that television causes illiteracy. It’s saying that human agency is inadequate; that people can’t be trusted to make their own choices.
Which, frankly, is not that far removed from saying that the government has to take care of them.