This is an article I heard about from the northern part of my lovely, yet chronically fucked-up state. For the record, I love Alabama, and it is for that reason that the myriad problems, acts of stupidity, and demagogues drive me to distraction. Anyway, this story is on the website of the Decatur Times Daily, Alabama ranks 4th in public funding of contraceptives. That's very good news, though as stated in the article, the news could be better. I personally favor an emphasis on education, and I think abstinence should be a part of that education. After all, unless you're a Christian Biblical literalist, you are aware that abstinence is the only 100% foolproof way for preventing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STD's. However, as unfortunate as it is, the simple, ugly fact of the matter is that at least some teenagers are going to fuck, and Alabama's numbers reflect that with the 15th-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation. With that in mind and with a deep concern with the possibility for the spread of sexually-transmitted disease, I think it would be a fiscally-responsible use of resources to spend some money on education and expanding the accessibility of contraceptives. Furthermore, I believe that some form of emergency post-coital contraceptive should be available OTC as opposed to being strictly a prescription-only product.
While I echo (and I shudder at this) former President Clinton's expressed belief that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, I also believe that reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies is good fiscal policy. By allowing for a greater number of options in terminating and preventing unwanted pregnancies, a real and measurable improvement in the lives of the women in question can be found. Also, not to put too fine a point on it, the rate of growth of the ranks of those in need of public assistance is reduced, thereby reducing the strain on an already overstressed system. I don't know if this is the conservative thing to do, or the liberal, or the libertarian thing to believe, but frankly, I don't care. Furthermore, I would love to see the same occur in the several states, but I believe the best way for that to be decided is at the state or local level, not the national level.
Aaaah, there's the libertarian (or am I a neolibertarian?) y'all have grown to know and love, or at least be driven to distraction by... I look forward to seeing what you guys and ladies have to think.