Archive for June 9th, 2015

Jeb Bush In 1995: Unwed Mothers Should Be Publicly Shamed

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

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Bill proposed to offer birth control pills over the counter

Sen. Patty Murray says legislation would defend against efforts to block ‘Obamacare’ contraceptive coverage

Sen. Patty Murray introduced a measure on Tuesday that calls for birth control pills to be sold without a prescription. The bill, which echoes recommendations from the American Medical Association, is likely to increase political wrangling over the Obama administration’s requirement that health insurers cover the costs of FDA-approved contraceptives.

Murray, D-Wash., and supporters including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, say the move is intended as a defense against congressional efforts to shut down the portion of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires health insurance companies to cover one of 18 different forms of birth control without co-payments.

Without insurance coverage, Murray says, the pill can cost up to $600 a year, making it out of reach for many women. The bill would make sure that insurance still covers the cost of birth control pills if the FDA approves that particular method for sale over the counter. Typically, insurance companies do not cover the cost of OTC drugs.

“Anyone will tell you, if something is too expensive, it doesn’t matter how easy it is to get,” Murray said in a call with reporters on Tuesday. “It might as well be on the moon. Affordability and access go hand in hand.”

Dr. Nancy Stanwood, an obstetrics professor at the Yale School of Medicine, said that medical groups have long called for over-the-counter access to the pill because the research shows that women are safely able to take the pill without the need for a doctor visit or a pelvic exam. “I think that this is very common-sense measure that Senator Murray is proposing, and it’s very thoughtful in thinking ahead so that women continue to have access to birth control,” she said.

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