October 17, 2021

Dems want to implant abortion-inducing device into teen girls

Dems want to implant abortion-inducing device into teen girlsJust weeks after a prominent health-care expert predicted that Democrats would begin a nationwide push for taxpayer-funded contraception for schoolgirls, including abortion-inducing drugs, Virginia is proving to be the next battleground.

The idea started in a Colorado pilot program, in which teenage girls were given contraceptives including implanted abortafacients known as long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs, and intra-uterine devices, also called IUDs. The program showed marked reductions in teenage births and reported abortions. Efforts then began to enact a taxpayer-funded version of the program, but it died in the Colorado Legislature over conscience and religious liberty concerns.

Writing in the Washington Post, Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is also a pediatric neurologist, hailed the Colorado numbers as a proven way to bring teenage pregnancies way down.

Over the past six years, Colorado observed a 40 percent decline in teen births and a 42 percent decline in teen abortions based on an innovative program that provided education, counseling, administrative support and long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to providers and patients upon request,” wrote Northam.

“These long-acting birth control methods, which include intrauterine devices (IUDs), injectables and implants, can last up to 10 years. They have a failure rate of less than 1 percent compared with condoms and the pill, which have failure rates of around 18 percent and 9 percent respectively,” added Northam.

intrauterine devices, or IUDs

Northam made it very clear he wants Virginia to go down the same road.

“This is an issue Virginia needs to consider for the health of women of all ages, the health of our infants and the fiscal well-being of our commonwealth,” he said.

Northam also made a focused pitch for taxpayers to pick up the tab since IUDs and LARCs are far more expensive than oral contraceptives.

“As a physician and a policymaker, I believe all Virginia women should be informed about and have access to all possible reproductive health-care options so they can make the best decisions for their families,” he wrote.

Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner addressed the issue last month in a New York Times “Room for Debate” forum. In a subsequent interview, she cited this push as part of the “culture of death” promoted by the political left.

In response to Northam’s case for taxpayer-funded IUDs, Turner says it sets a troubling precedent for government.

“If the state is basically saying, ‘We don’t trust you,’ then we’re basically saying the state has to make all of your decisions for your life,” she said, noting this could set up a battle between government and parental rights.

“What if parents object to that?” she asked. “Is the state going to say, ‘No, we’ve decided that because we don’t want to have the state pay for the pregnancy and the delivery and perhaps Medicaid for the child after that. Therefore, we’re going to encourage young women to have these long-term contraceptives.’”

She also said Northam paid no attention in his Washington Post piece to the ethical and health concerns surrounding implantable contraception.

Indeed, Northam gave it just one sentence.

“Unfortunately, myths also abound with regard to LARCs and the safety of IUDs, in particular,” wrote Northam, while noting the devices have the backing of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Turner said that glosses over some major issues.

“Northam makes absolutely no reference about the moral, ethical, religious issues involved in this question,” she said. “He’s basically saying he’s looking at the numbers, that teen pregnancy can be reduced without any sense of what message does this send.”

Two major objections are in play simultaneously. Northam is asking taxpayers to pay for the program, regardless of whether such a plan violates their consciences.

“This is not something for the state to decide,” Turner said. “When the state says that we are going to use taxpayer dollars to pay for long-term contraceptives that can actually be abortafacients, that is condoning those. There are tens of millions of people in this country who have strong moral, religious, ethical convictions against that.”

Much like the Hobby Lobby case that landed at the Supreme Court, Turner expects any state that adopts this policy to end up in a long legal battle.

“For the state to say we’re going to ignore [objections of conscience] and to use your tax dollars to pay for that, that is a violation of the First Amendment,” she said. “I think we would see many court cases taking that, ultimately I hope, to the Supreme Court.”

Turner is also concerned about the impact such a policy would have on middle-school and high-school girls.

“Having the government fund these long-term contraceptives for often poor teenage girls, tells these young women that taxpayers will pay for them to have sex without fear of pregnancy and that they don’t have to be responsible for the consequences of their actions,” Turner said. “Sex is not without consequences, even if pregnancy is not one of them.”

She said the possible consequences range from physical to emotional.

“There’s no such thing as safe sex,” Turner said. “Are we telling these young women that they can have promiscuous sex and not have consequences? Of course, there are going to be consequences, not only in the form of sexually transmitted diseases but in the sense of what kind of an image are they developing of themselves.”

And she said implanted devices that can prevent conception for up to a decade also carry some risks.

“We don’t know the consequences for their health, of having contraceptives for a 19-year-old girl,” she said. “The contraceptive may last for 10 years. Is she ever going to get her fertility back? You don’t know that.”