HHS mandate brings free sterilization to teen girls

Why does this administration and its Department of Health and Human Services want to sterilize teenage girls?  Why in the world would anyone think it appropriate to sterilize a teenager, with or without parents’ consent?  Welcome to our brave new world.

As a report on CNS News states, the HHS mandate

must provide coverage, without cost-sharing, for sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives to “all women with reproductive capacity.”

In practical terms, that means most girls older than about 12 years old, the typical age when girls start menstruating, until menopause.  The mandate doesn’t say to provide these services to “some” women, or “all women except for minor children,” but to “all women.”

To define the “preventative services” called for under Obamacare, the HHS commissioned a committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to make recommendations.

The committee report said that “with reproductive capacity” meant “from the time of menarche to menopause.” Menarche is the beginning of menstruation–again, on average, about the age of 12 for American women.

On Aug. 1, 2011, HHS announced that it was adopting the IOM committee’s recommendation almost verbatim. In fact, it added just one word–placing “all” in front of “women with reproductive capacity.”

What will this actually mean?  Most states have different ages for “informed consent” to procedures such as sterilization.  In Oregon, for example, the age is 15.  That is, a 15-year old can decide on her own to be sterilized, with or without her parents’ permission.  And under the HHS mandate, it will be free of charge.

The age of consent for sexual relations in Oregon is 18.  A girl can be too young to consent to sex, too young to drive, too young to vote, but old enough to have a free sterilization!

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