A recent letter, printed Feb. 26, was titled “Individual choices should not be society’s burden.” The writer’s point was that if people choose to participate in activities that might produce a pregnancy, other people should not have to pay for their contraceptives. I wonder if the writer has taken into account how taxpayers, especially those who are child free by choice, may feel about supporting other people’s choice to have a child. Watch what happens when I quote that letter but substitute the word “child” for “contraceptive”:
“How are women treated unfairly when they pay for their own child? For every woman who has a child there is a man who is also involved. In the case of a married woman, the cost of a child is a shared household expense. There is nothing unfair or inequitable about married couples paying for their own child. The only unfairness is in making others, who are not involved in this personal decision . . . pay for that couple’s choice. To the extent a woman is unable to share those costs because she is single, it is not the government’s job to ensure she can afford a child by shifting the costs of this lifestyle onto others.”
My point is this: Taxpayers in this country have no choice but to pay for school buildings, school lunches, school buses, school personnel (salary and retirement) for children in public schools. Taxpayers also pay for daycare centers, after-school childcare programs, subsidized housing for families and supplemental food programs. When families with children have problems, taxpayers pay for police, court and probation services, Medi-Cal, Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (Welfare), drug and alcohol treatment programs, institutional and foster care. It is clear to me that a federal health care plan that includes paying for contraceptives is an economically sound choice for taxpayers.