Pelosi attempts to justify funding for contraception in economic stimulus package
Washington DC, Jan 26, 2009 / 07:16 pm (CNA).- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a Sunday interview tried to justify the inclusion of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for contraceptives in the $825 billion economic stimulus package by claiming family planning services “reduce cost.”
Speaker Pelosi made her comments in an appearance on ABC’s This Week with host George Stephanopoulos.
Stephanopoulos asked how the expansion of “family planning services” could be considered an economic stimulus. The Speaker replied:
“Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”
Stephanopoulos responded, “So no apologies for that?”
“No apologies. No,” Speaker Pelosi replied. “We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.”
Speaker Pelosi is a self-described Catholic. However, Catholic teaching considers contraceptive use an intrinsic evil.
The “family planning services” in the stimulus package “would expand federal funding for contraception through Medicaid, allowing those not poor enough to be currently eligible for Medicaid to nonetheless qualify for the contraception aid,” reports CNSNews.com.
The article goes on to explain that the Clinton administration created a program allowing individual states to “seek a waiver to offer Medicaid ‘family planning’ services to those who are otherwise not qualified for Medicaid.” Once the state receives the waiver, “the federal government matches state Medicaid family planning funds with $9 in federal money for every $1 the state spends.”
Under Pelosi’s provision, states would not need to apply for the waiver to receive the 9-1 federal contraception funding.
CNSNews.com also reported that even the White House has backed away from Pelosi saying that the family planning provision was not President Obama’s idea.
Father Tom Euteneur of Human Life International also criticized Speaker Pelosi’s economic reasoning.
“She presents as self-evident the idea that children are a hindrance to improving states' economies. Lies don't become truth by repeating them, they only become more acceptable,” he commented to CNA.
“The problem is, however, that it is sick. We must never reduce a human being to his or her economic value. The Speaker is no more ‘Catholic’ than she is an economic expert,” he charged.
“What she and her fellow anti-life crusaders are doing is trying to sneak their destructive ideology into law by convincing the ignorant that it is fiscally necessary,” he continued. “‘Never waste a crisis,’ is how Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's new Chief of Staff put it.
“When people are scared, they'll agree to almost anything that is presented as a solution to their problem, even if, as is the case here, it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with economic stimulus. This is an insult to both the intelligence and the moral consciences of the people she is supposed to represent.”
Even if Speaker Pelosi could prove that having fewer children is a net benefit for the economy, Father Euteneur said the moral cost of contraception must also be considered.
According to Father Euteneur, Russian demographics provide a cautionary example.
“Look at Russia, the birthplace of the progressive ideal of widely available contraception and abortion. Their birthrate is now the lowest in the developed world. There are more abortions than live births in Russia and they can't seem to change people's minds back to the idea of having children.
“Their society is crumbling as the few young people they have decide they don't want to pay for their elders' care, or they simply leave. Russia, once the bright light of the future for "progressives", now is evidence of what this deep spiritual illness does when it is allowed to run amok in a formerly beautiful and rich Christian culture. Will we learn from their example and reject contraception and abortion as a solution to society's ills?”
He suggested that Planned Parenthood and its subsidies will be the obvious beneficiaries of the contraceptive funding.
“You'll also see increased promotion of contraception in state hospitals and in ‘education’ to young people in our schools,” he predicted.
“We are reminded time and again that the demons of abortion and contraception cannot be defeated by us in our political efforts alone.... It is going to require renewed prayer, fasting, and conversion of our hearts. We pray that it is not too late and we have hope based on our faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ,” Father Euteneur’s e-mail to CNA concluded.
CNA also sought comment from Dr. William Luckey, former chairman of the Political Science and Economics Department at Christendom College and author of the CNA column “Indispensible Economics.”
Luckey asked how long Speaker Pelosi expects the recession to last.
“Children conceived today will be born 9 months from now. Does she think that the economy will be in recession then? How can she tell? So even if these plans went into effect today, which is impossible given the time Congress takes to do anything, the economic downturn will probably be reversed by then.”
He also stated that Speaker Pelosi appears to think that children are an economic burden to society. He said the number of children who use public services must be considered, wagering that they are only “a small minority.”
In the long run, Dr. Luckey said, “most every child born now grows up to be a positive contributor to society. People, with rare exceptions, produce more than they consume. If you cut back on the population, you cut back on production.”
He told CNA that many European countries are suffering demographic decline from birth control policies.
Finally, he asked, “where is the logic that says that if you take money from me to give to others so that they can have sexual pleasure without taking responsibility for it, the economy will be helped? Why not just let me keep my money in the first place to spend on more valuable things for my family?”
He called the contraception initiative “immoral” and “completely based in ignorance.”
“She is probably buying votes from the birth control lobby—and abortion will be next as a solution to our economic woes,” Dr. Luckey claimed.