So, it has come to this: A 20-year-old Illinois college student is whining because she won’t be able to vacation in Costa Rica, because she got pregnant, because she couldn’t get birth control anymore, because it cost $20-a-month more at the university clinic, because its federal funding was cut, because President George Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act.
Boy, doesn’t that beat all. Bush lied to us, got us into an unnecessary war and now he got a 20-year-old pregnant and denied her the entitlement of drinking mai tais on a tropical beach.
You can’t make this up. Here’s the August 13 story, from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Last spring, 20-year-old pre-med student Elizabeth Harris had only Costa Rica on her mind. She was hoping to wine and dine there while taking a few biology courses.
But the Waukegan native and University of Illinois at Chicago junior had to skip her trip.
Having gone off birth control, Harris found she was pregnant. She said she quit when the cost of her prescription at the UIC clinic more than doubled.
"[The price] steered me away," said Harris. "I don’t blame them [UIC], but I might not be in the situation I am in now."
Health officials fear more students will stop using birth control when they return to school this fall and find skyrocketing costs at campus clinics.
For the record, the new cost of Harris’ birth control — NuvaRing, a monthly contraceptive, at the UIC clinic was $35, up from $15. “She said that even though UIC provides free condoms she would only use them ‘once in a while.’ Other times she and her partner were feeling spontaneous and ‘it just happened,’ she explained,” according to the Sun-Times story.
The story obviously is an attempt to depict Harris as a victim and a thinly disguised case for more federal funding for birth control. No one was quoted in the story who defended the funding cuts or bemoaned Harris’ appalling irresponsibility. But that’s not surprising.
Rather, the story said: “Harris, coming from a low-income home, said she cannot afford to pay so much more for birth control.”
Sure. And what is the cost of the cell phone she was shown holding in the newspaper photo? Maybe if she can’t afford to protect herself, she should — perish the thought — abstain from sex.
Maybe we should be glad that she has decided not to abort her child. And maybe picking on one young woman who says some stupid things for public consumption isn’t fair.
But, how does anyone get the idea that taxpayers are required to pay for her birth control? That spontaneous sex excuses reckless behavior? That extra-marital sex is no problem, ethically or morally?
Some commentary faults her not keeping her mouth shut because, among other things, it might reflect badly on black women. I’ll issue an assurance here that whatever her race, most people would consider her attitude and conduct outrageous.
More worrisome is the possibility that she simply reflects a society that has lost its mind.