Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On Morals Week: The morality of women's health care

Okay, so Morals Week seemed like such a good idea, I figure there's no reason not to adopt it myself. After all, morality is a subject frequently raised in society today but rarely thoroughly discussed. And after all, the College Republicans started it.

We've already looked at two takes on morality from a conservative mindset, but we have to remember that people are always working with morality in mind. Take, for instance, the morality of cutting funding for cancer screening:
For fifteen years, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Missouri clinics in Joplin and Springfield have offered free breast and cervical cancer screenings as part of the state’s “Show Me Healthy Women” program. Now Governor Matt Blunt has announced that he will cut off all program funding to Planned Parenthood and redirect it to other health clinics. “Patients should not have to go to an abortion clinic to access life-saving tests,” Blunt declared. Refusing to fund cancer screening at the clinics, he said, “ensures women may access important preventative care without contributing to abortion providers’ goal of facilitating the destruction of innocent life.”

The punchline? Fewer than one in ten clients go into PP clinics to get abortions, less than 30 percent of the PP clinics in the country even provide abortions, and none of the clinics that lost funding do. What Planned Parenthood provides, far more than abortions, is affordable general, reproductive, and prenatal health care for women who need it and the means and education necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

But the thing to remember is that they're still evil. They treat women, who are inherently sinful, and some of whom have teh sex, which is evil. And it's worth it to punish evil health care providers like Planned Parenthood (Dr. Evil?), even if it means denying women access to cancer prevention and screening that could save their lives. Because when we say "pro-life," we mean "up until you're actually born, at which point you're on your own."

We can also examine the morality of denying pregnant teens prenatal care:
Pregnant girls should get adult permission before they get medical checkups for their unborn babies, the state House decided as representatives defeated a proposal to allow teenagers to seek confidential prenatal care.

North Dakota law now requires a doctor to have permission from a parent or guardian to treat pregnant girls who are younger than 18.

The rejected measure would have allowed pregnant girls to see a doctor privately, although it required health care providers to try to coax their patients to tell their parents about a pregnancy.

Now, as an unpregnant non-teen, I'm just throwing things out here, but wouldn't a teen who had a good relationship with her parents be likely to share her pregnancy with them anyway? And if a girl didn't have that good relationship with her parents, such that she was afraid of sharing her condition, might she have some compelling reason not to? And even if her reason isn't, by arbitrary standards, compelling, is withholding medical care really in the best interest of the teen or her fetus? "Sorry, kid, you really should have had an ultrasound and a whole bunch of vitamins by now, but since you think that your parents'll make you get an abortion if they find out, you're on your own. Good luck with that. Hope the kid comes out healthy." Way moral. Like, totally moral.

Man, it's going to be a long Week.

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