MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
state senator, John Coghill (GOP) from North Pole (a top-of-the-world themed suburb of Fairbanks), opposing birth control and Planned Parenthood, while avidly arguing Medicaid should only pay for abortions in extreme circumstances.Only in the state Sarah Palin was elected governor of could you find a
That fits right in with his colleague's -- Sen. Fred Dyson's (GOP) -- confounding argument that sex is "recreational" unless it is for procreation, and, therefore, family planning should not be funded by Medicaid (even though the federal government would pay 90% of the tab). According to the Anchorage Daily News,
Dyson says condoms cost a dollar apiece and for the price of four or five lattes, a woman could get birth control pills for a month. Dyson says sexual activity is largely "recreation" and the public shouldn't be required to finance "other people's recreation."
So if you are on limited means in Palin's home state, wouldn't this mean if you are married, for instance -- with limited income, you might have to choose between a cup of coffee and making love with your husband or wife (or whomever).
The argument over expanding family planning and birth control for the economically needy in Alaska through Medicaid is a compromise idea that the Democrats floated to get some concession in an onerous bill that would severely limit Medicaid funded abortions in Alaska. Alaska Public Media reports:
The legislation does that by defining what constitutes a “medically necessary” abortion, and requiring doctors to check off what ailment a woman suffers from a list of specific physical conditions. That list doesn’t include a mental health exception, because bill sponsors believe women and doctors could use that option to cover elective procedures.
The Alaskan Senate passed the bill with the family planning expansion concession, but the House of Representatives balked at financially aiding economically challenged state residents to prevent unwanted births.
Alaska Public Media records that "Last year, 1,450 abortions were performed in Alaska, and 547 were covered by Medicaid." Meanwhile, it is highly likely that even that small number of terminated pregnancies paid for by Medicaid could be reduced with the expanded financial and physical availability of birth control pills and family planning counselors (remember many Alaskans live in remove villages and outposts).
Maybe Sen. John Coghill can enlighten us as to what the residents he represents do in North Pole during the months of near full-time darkness up there? Perhaps they help Santa get his bags of gifts ready for Christmas in a Fairbanks suburb annex -- or maybe they are enjoying other "recreational activity."
Or maybe they just drink a lot of coffee.
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