The Government’s plan to offer free long-term contraception for beneficiaries and their daughters is being labelled as an insult and intrusive to women’s right to have children.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett yesterday said contraception would eventually be fully funded for female beneficiaries and their 16 to 19-year-old daughters.
The move was part of the first round of controversial welfare reforms that would cost the Government $287.5 million over four years, including $81.5m of new money.
No one is stopping people from their right to have children. But we as taxpayers need a similar right to say that if you want children then you should pay for them yourself, not expect the taxpayer to pay for your right to have children.
Of course Sue Bradford is outraged.
Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Sue Bradford this morning said while the contraception was voluntary, it was “totally unacceptable” for the Government to get involved in women’s reproduction.
“Most New Zealand women will not accept that. It’s because beneficiaries are seen as people who are worth less than others,” she said.
Actually the working poor who have to pay taxes probably do think beneficiaries are people worth less than others. Though she does make a good point.
If as Sue Bradford says it is not for the government to getÂ involvedÂ in women’s reproduction then let’s se an end to free cervical cancer screening, free breast cancer check ups, almost free obstetric care, charge them for birth assistance in hospital, not to mention free abortions, something I am sure Sue Bradford would be a strong advocate for.
If the government really shouldn’t be involved in women’s reproduction as Sue Bradford says then I guess it really shouldn’t be involved in paying the DPB either.