Saturday, March 3, 2012

Family Planning for Six Blessings

Heaven knows I have tried to stay out of the culture wars. But whether you blame the President or Limbaugh, it looks like there's incoming on a battlefield that can't be avoided.

Let me just state for the record that it's no accident we have six kids. It was the plan. And they are born three years apart due to the plan. In fact, our second and third were born three years apart on June 12 and June 11 during the time my wife was still teaching school (hint: she was teaching Math and Science). Nobody can plan better than my wife.

While I was a part of the plan, I wasn't really in charge. It was mostly my wife. She did the hard work. I tried to be as supportive as I could. We love all six of our children and the two children-in-law, the two grandkids and all those still on the way with more to come!

The plan was "conceived" before we were married. We talked about it. I don't know why I was initially so dense, but I had the idea picked up from somewhere that you weren't supposed to interfere with "natural processes" and you just took the kids the good Lord gave you. My wife-to-be had no problem with a big family and receiving little blessings from the Lord. She just had a different idea about the process. We worked it out. The important thing was that it was our plan for which we took responsibility.

We also got real lucky (or blessed) on the first one. We signed up for maternity insurance. It cost $62.50 a week month which after rent was our major expense and a pretty big chunk of our monthly expenses. The contract required us to pay in at least eleven months before we could make a claim. I guess they were concerned about someone signing up with a "pre-existing condition." We were blessed with our first-born 13 months into the policy and were fully covered. Then we canceled. Our agent tried to get us to extend because he was facing penalties for too many similar situations in 1982 Provo. We declined.

When my wife went back to teaching before our second child, we had good health care through her work with options for medical support for family planning. It was a blessing. By the time the second came, I was in full-time employment and had good health care benefits as well. After our third child, my wife quite teaching because day care was no longer economically sane on a teacher's salary. And were were still grateful for the health care and family planning options we had through insurance coverage with my government job.

That's all I ever wanted to see for the rest of the people of the United States - the ability to select from good insurance options with basic human needs covered, including family planning and childbirth (even as a pre-existing condition). No one is forced to use contraceptives under government health insurance. But I think they should be available for those who make that choice. And I wish no offense, but I think that choice should be available for anyone in this country regardless of where they work. See, Griswold v. Connecticut. In this case, I think the Right of Privacy and Fourteenth Amendment protections for individuals trump any claim to religious rights of institutions under the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment. The President came up with a good solution to make sure the coverage was by the health insurance provider, not necessarily the employing institution that may have religious objections. Maybe a single-payer government run system would work better that way, but I actually like the option of choosing my health-care insurance provider assured that basic coverage concerns will be met under law.

It also makes me consider my debt for my blessing to the pioneers like Margaret Sanger who was arrested for advocating birth control less than a hundred years ago. Sanger had other beliefs and activities that weren't all that admirable, but don't we owe her anyway? I mean, even Ann Romney, maybe even Mitt, once supported Planned Parenthood.

And my own little blessings? So far, they are all productive, tax-paying members of society (all but the youngest who is still too young for a wage job - yet he's got some great potential!). Somebody is going to have to help pay down the debt and cover the safety net in the future. We could all do a little better in that regard. "Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you . . . ." I helped raise six wonderful people to contribute to our Union's positive future.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I remind readers that I do not speak for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in any official capacity. Just to help, here is a link to the official church website on the issue of Birth Control.


  1. (Anon/M) Clicking on "like" wasn't enough for that one. I feel so strongly about that subject that there is no other way but to comment and say, "Amen. I totally agree. More power to you!"

    1. Thanks, M! It isn't an easy subject. But all I can say is what I know from my own experience and beliefs.

  2. I attended Georgetown Law and it was very frustrating to not have birth control coverage. We couldn't afford for my wife to not work and we couldn't afford daycare. Nevertheless, 9 months after starting law school (and losing our then-existing birth control coverage), we had our first child.

    I had never considered your argument before, but it makes a lot of sense.


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