Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Catholic's Thoughts on Contraception, the Sanctity of Life and Universal Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act is being criticized for mandating access to contraception. As a Catholic, I am aware, although I do not agree, with the Church's stand on birth control. Providing access to birth control is not the same as mandating its use. It simply gives women the choice of whether to conceive or not. It should be plain to all that if you don't believe in abortion, it makes sense to ensure as many women as possible have access to contraception. Failure to do so increases  the number of abortions and children born to parents who cannot afford to care for them properly.

With so many Americans living below the poverty line, I struggle to understand the mentality of conservative politicians as they slash away at food stamps, housing assistance, Head Start programs and subsidized child care for the working poor. In spite of their opposition to abortion, it does not appear that they truly believe in the sanctity of life. If they did believe life is sacred, they would be fighting to ensure every citizen, at a minimum, has a roof over their head, enough to eat and access to healthcare. If all Americans are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, doesn't that mean they are entitled to at least those things that are necessary to sustain life?

As far as the healthcare debate is concerned, the question the American people should be asking themselves, isn't "how can we afford to pay for universal health care?"  It is "how in the name of God and conscience can we continue to refuse to do so?" Something most other civilized nations understand. No wonder the rest of the world looks at this country and shakes their heads.

When conservatives finally succeed in repealing the Affordable Health Care Act, and I believe it will be eventually repealed, I doubt their priority will be replacing it with a better plan to provide quality healthcare to all Americans. Instead, they will turn their attention to dismantling Medicare, the most successful and least costly healthcare program in the nation. The voucher system they are proposing will undoubtedly be structured to channel billions of tax dollars to insurance companies. Once this is accomplished, they will move on to their stated goal of privatizing Social Security. An idea those on Wall Street have been salivating over for decades.

 Greed reigns in America and the only thing that is cheap is human life.