In case you had not heard yet, there is a rumble rolling through the right-wing blogosphere that Obamacare requires sterilization of girls as young as 15. This is absurd on its face, of course. They reach this conclusion through a serious distortion of the facts and a complete misrepresentation of what Obamacare offers.
First you need to understand the provisions they are speaking of. What they are upset about is that reproductive health benefits are now covered by health insurance without question. They have cherry picked out one small part, that this will cover tubal ligation, hysterectomies, and vasectomies, and turned it into this grand conspiracy of forced sterilization. They leave out that this is all dependent on what the person chooses.
There are people who decide to never have children, through a variety of reasons. Perhaps they have a hereditary disease. Perhaps there is abuse going on at home and they fear being forced into pregnancy. Whatever the cause, it remains a personal choice, not a mandated operation, and not just for women alone. Men can and do choose to have vasectomies as well. Now, it would be fully covered by their healthcare insurance.
So, in trying to create false outrage over the healthcare law, they chose their words carefully, “mandatory sterilization coverage.” Notice the word change, they call it “sterilization” when it is reproductive choice. The term sterilization brings with it connotations of eugenics programs or of laws which forced compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill or those with disorders such as epilepsy or Down’s Syndrome.
The attempt to paint it against the backdrop of children is even more of a stretch. Obamacare did not change a single piece of the age of self-determination for medical procedures in this country. The states set those guidelines, not federal. So the claims of teens being sterilized as some new and radical thing is an intentional distortion of the facts at hand. If the age at which someone could undergo a vasectomy was 15 before the new rules went into place, they stay at 15 today. If that age was 18, it still is 18. Simple as that.
This is nothing but an attack on reproductive health, targeted directly at low information voters, which will then write in to their congressman’s office with outrage, or face them in person to try to continue their wild conspiracies, as what happened with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently. Watch Video.
Attempting to reframe the argument against a veteran politician such as Pelosi only hurts the cause of trying to end reproductive health coverage. This is the same old argument, just trying new words to confuse the issue once again. And with their army of anti-intellectual know-nothings, they continue to fight against the future, a new front in their attempt to force their Dominionism onto the country. They will not rest until their narrow view of religion is the law of the land.