Contraceptives not the kind of stimulus Boehner can believe in

January 24, 2009

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s $825 billion plan to boost the recession-bound U.S. economy has some elements that, well, aren’t the sort of USAstimulus that House Minority Leader John Boehner says he can believe in.
“I’m concerned about the size of the package, and I’m concerned about some of the spending that’s in there,” Boehner complained Friday after a meeting at White House.
“How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives? How does that stimulate the economy?”
Hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?
The Ohio congressman’s office explains. One proposal included in the stimulus package would expand Medicaid family planning services to all 50 states.
The proposal would enable people who don’t qualify for Medicaid to receive the family planning services, including contraceptives.
“Whether or not you think that is good public policy, it has nothing to do with an economic stimulus,” a spokesman for Boehner said.
For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Boehner watches Obama speak to press)


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Rep. Boehner is a puzzled fellow. “How does supporting contraception stimulate the economy?”, he asks. The answer, plain to everyone but him: by enabling people to avoid pregnancies and parenthood they can’t afford, so they can continue as taxpaying employees instead going on the dole with their babies.

But I’m puzzled too. How did Boehner get such a deep tan in Ohio in January?

Posted by Avery St. Clair | Report as abusive

I think it could be argued that reducing unplanned pregnancy, and the enormous costs that go along with it is healthy for the economy. I costs about $20,000 to deliver a baby without insurance where I live, with only basic prenatal care and a normal delivery. This financial strain can easily force a couple into bankruptcy, which is not good for the economy.

Posted by Echase | Report as abusive

Just how demented is Boehner? What kind of brain turns more money for medicaid paid out to the States as “millions of dollars for contraceptives?” Only one wanting to inflame the religious right. He just doesn’t believe that Obama won the election and a vast majority of Americans have abandoned his style of political leadership. Too bad he won’t be very effective in his minority leadership role. The Republicans need a new leader in the House.

Posted by Michael Thomas Cash | Report as abusive

I agree with Boehner. We should have more teen and unwanted pregnancies to show off conservative values like Palin’s daughter, and more people get on wellfare because of it, thus to stimulate our economy. What’s not to understand?

Posted by Maddi | Report as abusive

Boehner and his Republican ilk will not be satisfied until the USA is as densely populated as India or China. What is it about birth control and family economics that Repub conservatives fail to comprehend?

Posted by Tom in Alabama | Report as abusive

One of the reason why we are in this mess is that people are not having babies. If it costs $20,000 to have a baby, that is the problem. In Russia, they are starting to pay women to carry pregnancies to term because they are not reproducing themselves and the Russian economy continues to decline due to lack of people. If you have less young people and only old people, who will take care of them? Who will work and support the nation. People are our biggest asset, it has always been this way since the beginning of time and it will continue to be this way until the end of time.

We need to support people (married folks) so that they are able to have children without going broke.

But this view is one that is unselfish, and we live in a selfish society which only thinks about itself and if you only think about yourself, then you will not want to have any children because they can only benefit you to a certain extent. Having children benefits society more than it does the parents. And it requires a certain amount of sacrifice on the part of the parents to raise these kids. I believe that our society places too much emphasis on self and not enough on sacrifice.

One of the points President Obama made during his inauguration speech is that we need to be willing to make sacrifices in these tough times. I completely agree with him.

Allen in Austin – Father of 8 soon to be 9 children.

Posted by Allen Hebert | Report as abusive

Boehner is correct in questioning the money regarding contraceptives. Isn’t that what we want in America? I have always believed in the power of a split government, either a democratic congress and republican president or vise versa. It isn’t in the best interest of America to have a one party majority. It helps keep an abundance of laws being passed that may not be good for our country for the long term, while the laws that are passed are more in line with what we want.

So, whether you agree with him or not, he is doing exactly what he should be doing, questioning those things that may ultimately be bad for our country.

To roll over and play dead does not help our country. Remember, absolute power corrupts. It’s a given, regardless of the party in power.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

There is a phenomenon that you can deny and argue about but doesn’t make it any less true and that is that everything we think, say and do goes out into the universe and affects everyone in this world. Positive thoughts, actions and deeds are constantly in competition with negative thoughts, words and deeds. When there are 50 million deaths from abortion in the United States alone and 2 billion world-wide, I would say that is an awful lot of negativity going out in the world. That is why we are in the shape we are in. Men no longer protect women, women no longer protect their children. We sacrifice our babies to the god of the almighty dollar. End of story.

Posted by Bernadette Hreso | Report as abusive

Tony Soprano once said to one of his sidekicks that the three indisrties affected least by a recession are “gambling, prostitution and ours” (organised crime)

Clearlry Obama is promoting acivity in the successful industries. More free contraceptives will put more girls on the streets and the prospect of safe sex will attract more cutomers. Thus more jobs will be created and the GDP boosted.

Obama can then help organised crime by pardoning a few of his Chicago buddies who are having FBI related problems at the moment. Other criminals will feel encouraged knowing the President is on their side.

And gambling? Well Obama is trying to get the banks to start betting on volatile investment vehicles again.

So perhaps his thinking is that helping the industries best able to resist the recession he will help others through the trickle down affect.

BTW this comment should not be taken seriously

Posted by Ian Thorpe | Report as abusive

What about the environment? The amount of oral contraceptives that end up in rivers has been altering fish. I also read that the contamination of the ground water is responsible for the marked increase in male impotence–since female hormones have an adverse effect on men. I have an overall objection to “spending our way out of a bad economy”. Did you know that Japan tried to do this, over a period of 8 years, with very disastrous results? Everyone, including our family, is tightening our belts and the government should do the same. Not spending when you don’t have money is the “normal” thing to do.

Posted by Annemarie C. | Report as abusive

Boehner has supported nothing but “borrow and spend” policies since the moment he arrived in Congress, which helps explain his votes in support of budgets that produced the largest deficits in American history.

If the administration and the congressional majority listened to Boehner and relied on weak-stimulus tax cuts to improve the economy, isn’t that a “borrow and spend” policy? And if tax cuts were the magic bullet, and Bush and Boehner cut taxes over the last eight years, shouldn’t the economy be in great shape? It’s this thinking that led the National Republican Congressional Committee to argue, as recently as yesterday, “Thanks to Republican economic policies, the U.S. economy is robust and job creation is strong.” That’s a joke, right?

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Thank you for presenting a workable plan to get money into the hands of working people and providing some stability to the small business which will provide more jobs. It all makes sense.
As far as the medicaid proposal. I have seen no study that links extending birth control benefits to decreased birth rate. One would have to asume that those who would use the extended benefits are not currently using birth control. A silly thought. Condoms are cheap and prevent desease as well as pregnancy.

Posted by Gary Glaze | Report as abusive

What ever happened to abstinence as a form of birth control. The choice is not made AFTER a woman becomes pregnant, it is made BEFORE she becomes pregnant. God created sex for creation…..Period! The choice is made BEFORE you become pregnant. What part of that don’t people understand?

Posted by prechoice | Report as abusive

Government bailout: US Treasury takes money out of my paycheck under threat of imprisonment in order to give it to people our President thinks deserve it. Why can’t “We the People” bail each other out? For example, I just wrote a check to a coworker who cannot work because of a medical condition and his “insurance” refuses to pay. To add further insult, this President wants to take my money and give to the contraception/abortion industry to which I am morally opposed. Yes, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear increased contraception (translated: against life) means increased abortion of fetuses (translated: killing your young). Oh well, as GK Chesterton once wrote: “common sense is not so common.”

Posted by PhillyPhirst | Report as abusive

The Republicans believe that forcing other people’s children to have unwanted babies is the right way to go. (They desire to overturn Roe vs Wade.)

They ignore the fact that eventual decreases in crime have been linked to the availability of abortions.

They have always been sociological illiterates and always will be.

Posted by Become an Antigop | Report as abusive

How frustrating! Doesn’t Boehner get it that a pregnant women can’t work towards the end of their pregnancy!?! Doesn’t he get it that a woman who is able to work in a professional environment or any other environment for that manner can make more and thus spend more. Sure, babies are expensive but seriously, if you aren’t already pregnant, now might not be the best time to get pregnant considering the economy. What if your insurance is tied to your job and without it you won’t have health care? Hmmm. Who will pay for the birth of that baby if this is the case? That’s right, the taxpayer. I would much rather spend $10 a month on generic contraception than $5000+ multiplied by how many people need financial help delivering (that is hoping they don’t need a c-section)! What happens after the baby is born? Someone has to take care of it. Does the woman stay home and the man (if he is still around) work 2 or 3 jobs just to support the baby?

Get religion out of politics and use common sense!!!

Posted by Karen Henry | Report as abusive

Here’s the thing PhillyPhirst and prechoice, Planned Parenthood provides more services than abortions. They provide pre-natal screening and healthcare that helps people who want children have healthy babies. As far as your moral objection to abortion, you are certainly entitled to you beliefs and opinions but it is not up to you do decide what others can and can not do. It’s none of your business. God, it you want to drag Him into this, gave us free will and a set of guidelines to live by. If you believe in the word of God then you will let people make their own choices and settle up with God on the other side. as God intended. I personally do not believe what you do and I will never let you and your ilk decide what is right for me and others. When you are living a perfectly moral and sin free life then you can speak up, but chances are you are not. Again, it’s none of your business.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Here’s the other thing, abortions are going to happen. They happened before it was legal and will continue if made illegal again. Keeping this procedure safe should be the priority not debating it’s morality. Nobody is “pro abortion”, but only through increased contraception and education can we reduce the number of abortions. Now, some you advocates of abstinence will say that is the answer. Let me ask you a question, how much did you want to abstain from sex when you were a teen? I know abstinence was the last thing on my mind at 16. Humans like any other animal have a prime biological directive, make more humans. Abstinence is a great idea, but there needs to be a back up plan if that is what you’re teaching your kids.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

What is loud and clear on here is that killing unborn babies is good for the economy. It also blames unborn babies for the desires of adults who cannot control themselves. So, instead of doing the responsible thing, they kill those babies. Condoms are not the problem, people are the problem. Killing is becoming desensitized.

No one ever talks about the ugly emotional trauma of having an abortion. No one can erase the mistake they made in the first place and they also cannot erase the second mistake they made when they killed what could turn out to be a productive, beautiful member of society.

You got to live, why deny that right to others?

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Agreed with Avery.
Allow people the right to affordable birth control, to choose not to have children or more children. Use the money to educate and care for the ones we have.

Posted by mim | Report as abusive

Thank you Eric! Amen!

Posted by mim | Report as abusive

How petty you are, Boehner. Did you pick apart any of the Bush administration legislation with the fine-tooth comb you are using on this one? You are such an obviously political animal. We need common sense now, we are tired of the old opposition for its own sake that we’ve had for eight years or more. We are ready for some positive action. That’s why Obama was elected! And what’s wrong with contraceptives anyway? They would prevent pregnancies that might result in more abortion which you also oppose.

Posted by B. Rending | Report as abusive

I think the point Boehner is trying to make is that we need to be limiting spending at this point. We certainly don’t have the luxury to fund every pet project of every politician. I don’t know much about Boehner, nor do I have any particular feelings about him, but the above commenter is right, we should ALL be making sacrifices.

As far as limiting population, some people on this board could benefit from study the demographic implosion of Western Europe and Russia. Even China is finding its incredibly coercive population control policy problematic as the more and more men are finding themselves unable to find wives (Chinese girls are aborted at much higher rates).

“Family planning” and “reproductive health care” are code words, which translated, mean abortion. I can appreciate, Eric H, that not everyone shares my values. And just as you’d like me to keep my beliefs out of your life, I’d appeciate it if the government didn’t take MY tax money and fund something I find morally reprehensible. This knife cuts both ways.

Posted by Nerina | Report as abusive

Does this mean the liberals will use all those free contraceptives and money for abortion to stop reproducing altogether? – then people who like children can run the country again

Posted by louise z | Report as abusive

louise z- Conservatives and religious zealots like yourself do not “love children”, you hate them. You deny them healthcare, sabotage their education with your war on science, and send them off to wars for political capital. Your priests abuse them, your congressmen abuse them, and your religion teaches them guilt and fear.
Here’s a fact that you can not escape. Under every Democratic administration since these numbers were tracked, abortions have fallen. Under EVERY Republican administration, including the last one, they have risen.
Just think if Bristol Palin had been smart enough to use contraceptives. She could have finished school, not been forced to marry into a family of drug dealers, and might have had a chance to escape her oppressive family and found happiness.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

The point isn’t whether abortion is or isn’t moral, the point is why should I have to buy the entire country’s contraceptives with my tax dollars when the money could be spent in better ways right now. In what way will that questionable use of tax dollars help the economy? What happened to personal responsibilities. Don’t want kids? Don’t have sex, or buy you’re own birth control.

Posted by MJKearns | Report as abusive

I can’t help but think the author of this article must be laughing with amusement with his clever play on words.

Actually, it is pretty funny…

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I forgot to say I was talking about the title of the article.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Good news folks. Boehner won’t survive his next re-election bid. He represents a lower to middle income district in the rust-belt cities of Hamilton and Middletown OH, plus very economically depressed rural areas. He used to command 75% election wins, but in November 2008 was down to 61% against a no-name, no-money, 26 year-old Democratic newbee. With massive un-underemployment in his district and his favoring the wealthy, he won’t be back in Congress after the next election cycle if he continues to deepen the recession in order to pander to his wealthy friends. He’s simply out of touch with his constituency. If there was a solvent one around, you could take that to the bank.

Posted by bobbynorwich | Report as abusive

Just realize that many children born to unwed parents are abused and unwanted. The cost of this is criminal behavior including drug use, higher welfare and medical costs, and religious zealotry.

Oh, but that may be why you prefer unwed mothers and lost children. Without that you could not ask for and receive more police and drug enforcement agents in a failing drug war, rail against welfare cheats and medical costs, and realize the pinnacle of religious leaders like Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, some Catholic Priests, and many ministers, pastors, and priest yet to be discovered.

Posted by Sammyb | Report as abusive

Nerina, government must serve all the people, I didn’t want my tax dollars funding a war in Iraq but that’s what the government decided to do. Was I happy about it? No. Did I stop paying my taxes? No. Have I voiced my opinion on the matter. Most definitely yes.
Be glad we live someplace that we can vocally oppose our government and buckle up I think the right is in for some of the same treatment that the left has had to endure for eight years.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Louise Z, l love my son more than I can tell you and we’re planning on more kids. The key word in that last sentence is “planning”. Let me tell you what I don’t love. I don’t love people with multiple kids on welfare, you remember welfare right? That thing all you righties are always complaining about. I don’t love the fact that a teenage girl leaves school because she is pregnant. I don’t love judgement (by humans), it’s a cinder in the eye kind of thing. Look that reference up, it’s in the Bible. I don’t love rape victims being denied access to an abortion. I don’t love the spread of SDTs because of lack access to condoms. I don’t love the spread of AIDS because of lack of education and condoms. I don’t love poverty and starvation due to overpopulation. Lastly I’m finding hard to have any love for you and your piety. Here’s something I don’t write about very often, in the future you may refer to me as Rev. Eric H, that’s right, I’m a non practicing ordained minister. One more thing I don’t love, assumptions. Do not assume that you know what people love and don’t love.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

TC, all differences aside, I found the headline funny as well. So is the first line of the second paragraph.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Would I rather $15 per month go to contraception for someone who does not want to have a baby today, or $250 per month for 18 years tomorrow when an unwanted baby is born in addition to many other expenses the states will have to incurr (medicare, WIC, schools etc)? I don’t know about you.. but the choice is clear to me.

Posted by SoyYo | Report as abusive

Isn’t it kind of amazing that out of all the things on the list for this $825 billion bailout package, this is the only thing the Republican party has specifically criticized?

I’m single, no children, and currently unemployed. I hope they get off the dime on these contentious issues, and get this economy going.

Posted by duggers | Report as abusive

The more we make safe contraception available, the fewer abortions there will be. If you are truly pro-life, you will support this measure.

Posted by bachman | Report as abusive

Can you say “Short-term thinking?”. It is easy to see how we’ve gotten into the economic mess with Boehner’s ilk at the helm. Contraceptives will save millions of dollars in the short and long term. Babies cost dough, lots of it and if parents can’t pay, taxpayers do. We won’t even go into the miseries of unwanted babies. Insurance, which most low-income workers don’t have, doesn’t even cover contraception – but it does cover viagra. How patriarchally Republican can we get?!?! Boehner, go meditate on the error of your ways.

Posted by Peji | Report as abusive

Yes, it is clear as long as you aren’t going to abort the child due to your “mistake”. It can happen even if you use contraceptives, because no contraceptive is 100 percent foolproof. Anyway the bottom line is to own up to your (your means collectively not you personally) mistake and do the responsible thing, let the child live. The only rational arguement is to choose life. Please don’t punish someone else (the unborn child) for a mistake that was entered in to by choice. Choose life.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Senator Boehner’s Catholic ideology of big families (he has 11 brother and sisters) is blinding him as to the long term saving in the stimulus package. The cost of unwanted welfare children, teen pregnancies, and an even greater amount of green technology solutions so as to not be overwhelmed by overpopulation, just because he does not what condoms and family planning to be paid for.

Posted by Bummy | Report as abusive

Here’s some unique ideas. Stop having sex. Control yourself. The Sesame Street generation and instant gratification. Take a magazine and hit the bathroom. Buy condoms and USE them. Follow Bill Clinton and Monica’s example. But, inviting the government into our sex lives is a dangerous precedent people. Contraceptives do not belong in the bailout.

Posted by minniemoose | Report as abusive

the term rev,is that a title that is given with a philosophy degree?obviously the term can no longer be associated totally with christianity because comments i hear from a lot of revs,are consistently so for away from the what the average believer would expect.incidentally i am a deacon a title bestowed on me after an election by church members,there is the difference eric.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

tc.a rev who is ok with abortion is a liberal with avengence,cassock,ruffle and all.the species normally habitate the episcopalian forest of the west coast,but some times hibernate to the rain forests of new england.favorite tv program monty python,hobbies walking along main streets with members of the same species baying like donkeys.known to get nasty when confronted by two old ladies in their have been profiled eric.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

8 babies born to ca lady,how many stem cells is that?pity planned parenthood did not get to the mother first,missed opportunity.abortion fees and by products etc.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Boehner is a complete moron and nneds to master the obvious. Contracption clinics provide jobs to nurses and medical assistants, and save 100 fold on schools, SCHIP, childcare, welfare and the environment. Contraception spending should be in the trillions, exceeding “defense,” schools, SCHIP, and stimulus combined and from every level of government.
Crime dropped in the 90’s because it was Roe+18.
Where is Boehner from anyway? under a rock?

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

Mr Boehner,
Please encourage the republicans NOT to support ANY stimulus of Obamas. They merely want another party to take partial blame for this not helping the economy. Those of us that pay attention, know this is about government control. As tax payers we do NOT want to support grassroot democrat organizations that are slowly squeezing republicans out of the scene for good. AND the federal support for abortions as “economic efficency” is demonic. PLEASE rally together and stand strong against them.
Thank you,
Marlo Steinke

Posted by Marlo Steinke | Report as abusive

Brian, better get your money back from whoever taught you to profile people. Way off, except for the New England part, but I think I gave you that little tid-bit.
So, my degree is in history not philosophy (minor in theology), and like many people with a history degree I don’t work in that field. I’m actually a self employed timber frame carpenter. My ordination is from The Universal Life Church and I got ordained online which is why I stated that I am non-practicing. Surprisingly it does make me just as qualified as some of the “ministers” in my area who run born again churches.
One of them down the road from me is run by a guy who was a vacuum cleaner salesman until he got “the call”. I suspect that “the call” was from his boss telling him he was laid off. I got ordained so I could perform a marriage ceremony for some friends. There is very little difference between my being ordained and you being a deacon, unless you went to seminary school.
Your attempt to pigeonhole me and in fact all who disagree with you is lame. It just doesn’t work as you are basing your thoughts on stereotypes and misconceptions.
I could just as easily work up a profile of you and based on the limited info I have about you I would be wrong as well. TC and I have discussed the fact that we have some views in common but on the issue of abortion you don’t get many fence sitters. Nobody wants to see more abortions take place. What we (the left and the right) seem to differ on is how to prevent them and the consequences of making them illegal. There also seems to be this idea from the right that if you make abortion illegal that they won’t happen, well a lot of things that are illegal happen every day. Making abortion illegal will just drive it underground and make it dangerous, exactly like it was before Roe vs. Wade. Have you ever seen pro-choice activists wearing the coat hanger necklace or pin? Do you know what it represents? Find out and tell me if that’s what you want.
One more thing about religion, any church that asks for donations or a tithe is a scam, so that’s just about all of them. Organized religion has caused more war, death and destruction than I can list here, from The Crusades right up to the present conflict in Gaza. Luckily we live in a country where freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

people who pontificate about abortion to elevate their political agenda have no credibility with me,they try to give the impression of a hip modern sp life is not a case of a girl/women realizing “i am pregnant”and walking into planned parenthood and sitting and flushing the baby down the toilet,”thank you have a nice day”and walking out,and every thing forgotten,it is not as clinical as that. i have experienced the real drama that normally transpires in situations like this and there is a lot of heart rendering decisions to be made. in my early teens me and girl had a brief relationship which resulted in a pregnancy,abortion was an option but she delivered the baby and my parents brought the baby up as my younger brother.what a blessing he was to liberals if you making comments off the top of your heads which is normally the case, put your hands over your mouths.let me listen to women who have had abortions and see if they say it is ok..

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Anyone, who ever had to run a household or a business, knows to quit spending money when you are in financial trouble. Please don’t sell this country away with more debt!

Posted by K. Thyer | Report as abusive

[…] major critic of the proposal was House Minority Leader John Boehner (heh-heh, Boehner) of Ohio, who asked, “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives? How does that […]

Posted by Family planning not part of jobs/stimulus bill « Freethought | Report as abusive

it is simple arithmatic….AVAILABLE DRY LAND ON EARTH IN SQUARE MILES ? calculate the number of sq ft required per person to grow food, flush toilets, furnish potable water, provide transportation, structures for living, structures for employment, structures for health care, clean air to breath, and many more human requirements for quality life…..wake up people we have NO CHOICE, we must control population growth….birth control is the only way out….contraceptives is the best way to fight abortion ! !

Posted by rich roe | Report as abusive

[…] not surprising that when the GOP’s Congressional leader, Ohio’s own John Boehner, puts forth statements like this: “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives? How does that stimulate the […]

Posted by With GOP leaders who scoff at spending on contraception, slack in education picked up by Planned Parenthood : Writes Like She Talks | Report as abusive

[…] John Boehner, the heir apparent to be Speaker of the House following tomorrow’s elections, said back in January 2009: “How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives? […]

Posted by Will New Health Care Bill Mean Free Birth Control? – CBS | Report as abusive

[…] That was the primary question at the section’s spring conference, “Reproductive Justice and Health Care Reform: the Impact of Reform on the Reproductive Health of Underserved Women and Youth.” The phrase “reproductive justice” connotes the activism to give women and girls of all races and incomes the access to the same choices and education for controlling their reproduction. Panelists argued that some aspects of the bill, particularly the expansion of insurance coverage, would benefit this cause. But there were also warnings about the political resistance, exemplified by Representative John Boehner’s statement that he doesn’t think reproductive health care services are the business of the federal government: “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives? How does that stimulate the economy?” he asked in 2009. […]

Posted by Reproductive Justice in Law and the Clinic « Science Life Blog « University of Chicago Medical Center | Report as abusive