Words and their meaning are important, and emphasizing the teaching of the English language in school is paramount.
The latest political kerfuffle involves the Obama administration’s edict that all employer health-care plans must provide contraceptives free of charge to their covered employees.
The Republicans cast this issue as one of religious freedom, especially for the Catholic church and its various organizations that provide social and medical services to the community.
The Democrats cast this issue as “denying access to women’s health care.”
Think about that phraseology. The only word in the phrase that is accurate is “women’s.” But it makes for a much better image to say you are “denying access to health care,” and they argue that only the mean-spirited would agree with that.
First of all, not conceiving a baby is a lifestyle choice; it is not health care. We have been conceiving babies for thousands of years without any intervention, but now because we can prevent it artificially it is classified as a “health” issue.
Next, the fact that a third party doesn’t want to pay for a lifestyle drug doesn’t deny anyone access. If that is your lifestyle, go on the web and buy the pill for about $2 per day – half the cost of a double-latte. No one buys your broccoli for you, or your car, or your pizza, or your cheeseburger or your hairspray. No one in their right mind would say they are “denied access” to those lifestyle choices, and the same logic holds true for birth-control pills.
Words and their meaning matter. Next time you hear someone claiming that if they don’t get free birth control pills they are being denied access to health care, ask them who buys their cheeseburgers.
North Augusta, S.C.