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Contraception debate

Written By: - Date published: 1:48 pm, May 8th, 2012 - 96 comments
Categories: babies, Ethics, national, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

The Government is planning to offer free long-term contraception for beneficiaries and their daughters. It’s a politically complex and explosive topic. I for one have very mixed feelings about it. First I’ll be clear. If there is any hint of compulsion in this scheme – ANY hint at all – then I’m opposed. Completely and utterly opposed, and prepared to call it eugenics. Unfortunately for the Nats, the current proposals come with that baggage. From June last year:

Bennett: No compulsory contraception for now

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is “a big fan” of long acting contraception for solo mums but says her Government is “not quite” at the stage of making it compulsory.

I reacted in the strongest terms I could to that “testing the waters” on compulsion. I remain utterly opposed to it of course.

Now here we are with the current offer, free long-term contraception for beneficiaries and their daughters. In some respects its a perfectly sensible plan, remove the price barrier to women asserting control of their own fertility. Who could argue with that? The problem is that a perfectly sensible plan comes wrapped in two layers of baggage. First, it’s from the same Nats who last year were speculating about compulsion, so it has to be seen as the thin end of a wedge. And second, it targets one sector of the community only, and therefore carries an implied stigma. So, naturally, there is resistance:

Beneficiary contraception plan ‘intrusive’

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. …

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.

Bradford said the Government was persuading women to take contraception through sanctions, such as having beneficiaries who have an additional child on the benefit to look for work when that child was one. “We believe that women in this country have the right to control their own reproduction,” she said.

At one level the proposal does exactly what Bradford demands. It gives (some) women “the right to control their own reproduction” – of course that’s a good idea (for individuals, societies, and the environment). The problem is the baggage, as outlined above, and that is what opponents to the scheme are reacting to. No way round it – the Nats have muddied the waters too badly, they can’t make this proposal with any credibility. What a mess. The only way out I can see is to offer free contraception to everyone, with no strings of ANY kind attached.

96 comments on “Contraception debate ”

  1. shorts 1

    where is the onus on men to also take responsibility for their actions in this – outside of the other issues

    screams of sexism to me… big brother vs nanny state

    • They are not doing it for working families whose children are in poverty.
      This is a product of the Welfare Working Group.
       
      It’s a eugenics programme for a class of society that another class of society does not want them to breed.

      • Carol 1.1.1

        And as highlighted by Turei in the House a little while ago, the free contraception is being proposed for beneficiaries and not the working poor. So it’s about a dog whistle and not about poverty.

        Key said there were other programmes to help the working poor…. but not help focused on them stopping reproducing it seems.

    • hellonearthis 1.2

      So true, it takes too to make babies so there should be an option for guys to also opt in for free contraception. The government is only addressing half of the issue, well less as it should be open to all new zealanders.
      Nationals short sighted view winz again.

  2. tc 2

    A well timed highly charged issue in and around the time some of your assets are being flogged off.

  3. TEA 3

    It is about $7.00’s for a months pills.
    $1.75 a week.

    One bottle of Coke less a week should not hurt our benefit purse, so why get the Govt involved . . . . .

    I agree with :

    tc 2
    8 May 2012 at 2:13 pm
    A well timed highly charged issue in and around the time some of your assets are being flogged off.

    • Chris 3.1

      Also condoms are generally free at family planning clinics aren’t they (well at least they used to be) 

    • Chris 3.2

      Also condoms are generally free at family planning clinics aren’t they (well at least they used to be) 

  4. Does anyone know when Paula Bennett, while she was on the DPB, voluntarily got her tubes tied to prevent inter-generational welfare dependance?

    • fender 4.1

      NO. Her personality was an adequate contraceptive for her, and should still be working for her even though she just found some fool to marry her recently,

  5. Carol 5

    One of Key’s answers in the House this afternoon seemed dangerously close to a eugenics one, or at least had connotations about negative stereotypes of beneficiaries. I’d like to read or hear the response again to double check.

  6. Treetop 6

    I agree with a woman having control over her fertility and that there is a choice to have long term contraception funded. I draw the line at contraception being compulsory and having to sit down at a desk in a Work and Income office to discuss anything associated with the cost or type of long or short term contraception.

    I would like to see the applicant go to the GP/clinic and for the GP/clinic to invoice the cost to Work and Income without specifying the type of contraception. A person’s sex life is not the business of Work and Income.

    • Carol 6.1

      +1

      And I think that was what one of either Metiria Turei’s and/or Jacinda Arden’s question highlighted in question time today.

    • ianmac 6.2

      I hope that that is the way it goes Treetop. But I can’t see how the beneficiaries would know that the long term contraception was available, unless the office staff discuss it, and that is where the trouble would begin.

      • Treetop 6.2.1

        I expect that when the change to the DPB, widows and women alone is enforced a letter will be sent out. As unintrusive as possible, Work and Income could mention funding being available for contraception and to discuss this with your GP/clinic. I realise an inquiry would require time from a busy practice nurse. Work and Income would also have to pay for a GP visit for the applicant to discuss the suitability of long term contraception and any adverse affects.

        • bbfloyd 6.2.1.1

          good luck getting winz to pay for gp visits…..sickness beneficiaries have to pay thei own medical costs unless they can show a level of cost that qualifies them as disabled….. can’t see the govt ponying up the dough for dpb recipients….

          i wonder, privately, what all this is doing to morale in winz itself….. from what i hear, from those i know who work there, the stress levels being felt have reached problem levels….so now they may be forced to become “enforcement” officers as well as everything else, including having to relearn systems, and rule changes every three months on average….

          in one office in the waikato region alone, every single member of the staff has taken stress leave sometime in the last two years….. they can’t all be hothouse flowers…..(sorry, can’t name the office location… may create difficulties for the staff there)

    • Reagan Cline 6.3

      That would mean the GP or clinic would have a financial incentive to provide the contraception.

      Contraception would be better out of the hands of Medical Practicioners because it potentially conflicts wit the duty of care.

      • McFlock 6.3.1

        No more than any other contract for primary healthcare provision.

        And really, every doctor should already be asking “and do you want contraception with that?” as part of their consultation, right alongside cancer screening and checking the blood pressure (depending on risk factors).

    • rosy 6.4

      + another Treetop.

      When I was a pregnant 15 year old, the ante-natal course I was on had a full session on contraception just before our babies were due (despite us all laughing about too late now). Perfect timing and relevant. That’s where contraceptive advice and free contraception should be provided, there’s nothing like giving birth to focus the mind on not doing it again any time soon. With good advice from trusted professionals we were in control of our fertility choices.

      I hate to imagine the stresses on Work and Income staff dealing with this project to control the fertility of beneficiaries (imagine trying to convey the risk, say, of blot clots or osteoporosis as a reason for not having a depo provera injection). It’s not their job.

      Does anyone know if the union had stated a position on this?

  7. tsmithfield 7

    We need to start from the position that there will be no state funding for children conceived while on a benefit. At the same time make available free contraception so those in that situation can avoid producing children that won’t be funded by the state.

    • just saying 7.1

      So, the overwhelming majority of women with disabilities, will not be allowed to have chldren. Ever.
      You okay with that tsmithfield?

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        I think most NZers could support someone in that situation having children. The issue of a cost to the tax payer is likely to be less, anyway, since someone with a disability that prevents them from working may also be limited in the number of children they could practically care for.

    • Treetop 7.2

      What are Work and Income going to do when a person is on long term contraception and it fails?

      Sue the manufacturer.
      Applicant make an ACC claim for medical mishap.
      Blame the GP/nurse who fitted/implanted the device.

    • McFlock 7.3

      Quite literally punishing the children for the sins of their parents. 

    • felix 7.4

      We need to start from the position that money is the sole determining factor of a person’s worth.

      FIFY.

    • Reagan Cline 7.5

      One of these children might smile and help you over the road in your old age.

      Or to be less sentimental – as a successfull capitalist you know that the knowledge and expertise of your fellow human beings can be used to produce profit – why would you want to reduce their fertility ?

  8. Tom Gould 8

    If Bennett had been ‘on the pill’ she would not have a house paid off for her by the taxpayer. Maybe she should now give it back?

  9. The Two Paulas Comedy Roadshow – link

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    What beneficiaries really need is less free stuff.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      Yep. The problem with this bloody economy is that poorest people have too much of the money.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.1

        So we must fight against them getting stuff for nothing. It’s inhumane.

    • Treetop 10.2

      A job paying a decent hourly rate and for condescending remarks to stop.

  11. This is the final straw, the poor aren’t allowed to live in “nice” suburbs, the poor have to fight for the right for job security and a living wage and soon they won’t be able to “breed” (the word often used by those on the right) unless they have permission.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/pregnancy-punishment-and-poverty.html

  12. Bill 12

    Seems to me that the medium/long term consequences of this will be a ‘shrugging of the shoulders’ and ‘no help for you’ reaction to a person claiming a welfare entitlement who subsequently becomes pregnant. (You should’ve taken the contraception on offer.)

    That aside, would like to see sanitary products heavily subsidised or free to some as well as helping people with the cost of nappies etc.

    In relation to TEA’s comment that some contraception is only $1.79 per week (ie, merely the cost of bottle of coke), I wonder if TEA is aware of just how many ‘only $1.79s’ beneficiaries have had to find over the years to cope with (so called) incidental costs? There ain’t no ‘only $1.79s’ left. They disappeared when milk went up, when bread went up, when bus fares rose or when the cost of meusli bars for a school snack went up. Actually, they disappeared way before that.

  13. Vicky32 13

    This is what I wrote earlier on another blog about this issue:
    ” I can imagine the conversation I’d have had in 1989, if they’d done that back then:
    WINZ :”We want you as a DPB recipient, to take up our “offer” of free contraception”.
    Me: “No, thanks. I am not in a relationship, and have no intention of being in one for the foreseeable future”.
    WINZ: “Do you really think we’re going to take your word for it? If you want the benefit, take contraception”.
    Me: “No, thanks, Depo Provera and most formulations of oral contraceptives are hazardous to health”.
    WINZ: “Your health or your benefit, you choose!”
    I can imagine many women having that conversation now… and worse, their teenage daughters are going to have to fend off the same ‘offer’.
    All because of a false belief, that women on DPB keep churning out babies, whereas it’s actually very rare for women on any kind of a benefit to have subsequent babies – in all my years on benefit, I knew of exactly one (of hundreds). Then, within a few years, she finished her studies, and has been working for more than 10 years…”

    • Treetop 13.1

      I do not like the way women are being portrayed by Work and Income. Looks as though there is going to be an increase in children not having a sibling or a bigger gap between the age of children. When it comes to WFF I notice that Work and Income are not capping having more children.

      Work and Income have themselves to blame for not offering to fund Mirena sooner as it is superior to Depo Provera.

      “In fact 4,800 babies were born to women already on a benefit in the last year and 29% of those on the DPB have had a subsequent child while receiving a benefit.”

      http://goodhew.co.nz/index.php?/archives/497-Guardian-Column.html

  14. Vicky32 14

    Disclaimer: I have not been in a physical sexual relationship since 1986, when my son was conceived. Contraception was therefore completely irrelevant to me. That wasn’t what I expected or planned, but that’s the way it worked out. I don’t expect or want anyone else to do or be like me in this respect.
    However, what I said about Depo Provera is true. AFAIK, it’s still extremely hazardous to a woman’s future fertility. But would WINZ trust a woman to use only barrier methods that they could not control?

    • Descendant Of Smith 14.1

      Vicky please don’t dissuade the right from the notion that all women on benefit are whores just waiting to be sullied.

      Their Victorian hypocrisy must stay in place.

      The rich can sow their wild oats, the peasants they are just beasts in the fields.

      I remember years ago an very well off mother telling me it was important her son played around a bit before he settled down and got married. Get it out of his system and learn how to be a good husband.

      Ahh the days when the kings mistresses identified themselves in court by having to have a breast bared.

      The rich can sow their wild oats, the peasants they are just feral beasts in the fields.

      Most sole parents I know aren’t in any sort of sexual relationship either. Many have escaped out of bad relationships and are tired from raising their kids by themselves.

      Entering into a relationship with another man is the last thing they want or have the energy for – and all the women I know including (and maybe especially) my wife say that being in a relationship with a man takes effort and energy and a large part of compromise and restraint.

      It can be difficult enough (and rightly so) for women in a stable relationship to maintain a continuing interest in sex while raising young children as many couples will attest (yes men do sometimes talk about these things).

      The dehumanising aspect of this approach is just ghastly and repulsive.

  15. james 111 15

    Good idea we have to stop girls becoming baby factories as a career choice. Great to see a government with balls enough to do it. Rather than keep them on the intergenerational trap which the left seem to like to do

    [That’s it. Over the line you miserable amoral scum. Fuck off and never come back…Permanent ban. RL]

  16. QoT 16

    First, it’s from the same Nats who last year were speculating about compulsion, so it has to be seen as the thin end of a wedge. And second, it targets one sector of the community only, and therefore carries an implied stigma.

    BOOM. Nailed it.

  17. Descendant Of Smith 17

    Even without considering the motivation behind this should this not simply be funded via health?

    It’s a medical intervention for goodness sake and doesn’t belong anywhere near welfare.

    Still will be interesting watching the well off bludgers whinge about not having access as well.

    It’s a bit harder to fake an application for benefit rather than move your income and assets into trusts etc to access student allowances, residential care and child care assistance.

    Considering the motivation behind it it is a further attack on women on benefit but in reality on all women.

    As vasectomies can already be paid for

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/income_support/extra_help/special_needs_grant/special_needs_grant-25.htm

    will profligate men be asked if they want vasectomies?

    • Reagan Cline 17.1

      The medical profession should not be controlling fertility.

      It conflicts with the duty of care.

      The state has a role in prevention of disease by means of health care workers.

      A doctor could advise someone the effects of a pregnancy and provide contraception accordingly, but this is quite different from being an agent implementing a political programme aimed at limiting the fertility of a particular group of people.

      Notice how Key (advised by Sir Peter Gluckman no doubt) assumes the Nursing and Medical professions will cooperate in his governments programme.

      • Descendant Of Smith 17.1.1

        It’s still a health intervention and it’s voluntary apparently.

        It seems totally ridiculous to actually fund it through welfare and over-complicated to have welfare paying money to health providers.

        I wonder if the expectation is that all these procedures get done through the private sector?

        From one website:

        “Tubal ligation costs about $3,500 – $5,000 when performed by a private surgeon.

        At a private clinic you could expect to pay $300-400 for a vasectomy in NZ. ”

        Shit it’s much cheaper to sterilise all the men – who the hell does the cost benefit analysis on these things?

        Probably men I guess.

        • Treetop 17.1.1.1

          I reckon that there would be less complications having a vasectomy as well compared to tubal ligation. I have just looked up a site to compare Depo Provera to Mirena and saw that Mirena can tear the uterine wall.

          • rosy 17.1.1.1.1

            Scary isn’t it? Non-medical people telling other people to get medical stuff that can tear the inter-uterine wall, cause osteoporosis, increase the risk of blood clots and so much more, without knowing personal risk factors.

        • Reagan Cline 17.1.1.2

          How is contraception a “health intervention” ?

          Do you mean that only appropriately trained health professionals should be advising on contraception and fitting the devices, writing the precriptions ?

          They will be seen as agents of the state and that will conflict with the therapeutic relationship that should exist when the person is ill or seeking a health check.

          How can a woman be confident that the doctor or nurse is acting in her best interests when she knows they stand to collect a fee from a third party if she agrees to a procedure or prescription ?

          Rhetorically, “the state should stay out of the doctor patient relationship except to enforce standards of practice by registration and complaints and disciplinary legislation.”

          • Descendant Of Smith 17.1.1.2.1

            How is contraception a “health intervention” ?

            Tubal ligation involves an operation under anesthetic – how is it not a health intervention?

            Do you mean that only appropriately trained health professionals should be advising on contraception and fitting the devices, writing the prescriptions ?

            Yes. Even the non-surgical procedures have health risks.

            They will be seen as agents of the state and that will conflict with the therapeutic relationship that should exist when the person is ill or seeking a health check.

            They are agents of and are funded by the state already.

            How can a woman be confident that the doctor or nurse is acting in her best interests when she knows they stand to collect a fee from a third party if she agrees to a procedure or prescription ?

            On that basis all private hospitals should be banned.

            • Reagan Cline 17.1.1.2.1.1

              It hinges on what you think “health” encompasses.

              Difficult to define, but for practical purposes, “loss of a sense of well-being, illness”

              A women undergoing tubal ligation performed by health professionals is not ill.

              Health professionals treating illness should not be carrying out these procedures on the women they are also treating for ill health.

              Do you see the difference ?

              They are arguably agents of the state and partly funded by the state to diagnose, prevent and treat disease and should not carry out contraceptive procedures unless the intent is therapeutic.

              Doctors and nurses are not paid by private hospitals to do procedures are they ?

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Clearly health already provides Family Planning Services that include contraception advice. Here is one example:

                http://www.healthpages.co.nz/health-system/where-to-go/sexual-health-services

                Clearly health advise on the medical risks, prescribe the prescribed and carry out the procedures that are required.

                Clearly welfare currently do not do any of these things.

                Why the need to move this from health to welfare? – maybe we are getting an inkling here.

                The medical profession seem themselves as somehow independent from the state, are much more powerful in their own right than a case manager at WINZ, would likely refuse (or may have already refused) to partake in this process and the abhorrent connotations that have been attached to this and rather than exert their power publicly and said this is abhorrent remained silent while shifting the exertion of this abusive power onto others.

                Alternatively they agree with it but don’t want to be the ones tarred with implementing it.

                • Reagan Cline

                  The Medical Association of New Zealand has today come out strongly in support of the policy, according to newly appointed chair Dr Paul Ockelford.

                  Not all doctors belong to this – so he is not speaking for all, even some members are probably against it.

                  I have gut-felt opposition to people with the knowledge and power conferred on doctors implementing what amounts in my mind to a state-run sterilisation programme.

            • Reagan Cline 17.1.1.2.1.2

              That should read, health is for practical purposes “a sense of well-being, absence of illness”

            • Vicky32 17.1.1.2.1.3

              On that basis all private hospitals should be banned.

              There’s a case that can be made for them to be scaled back!

    • Treetop 17.2

      How much does a vasectomy cost?

      Work and Income cap the procedure at $300 in a 52 week period. Useless policy if the full cost is not covered.

  18. captain hook 18

    THEY SHOULD WRAP paula beenit in an oversize condom and put her in a museum.

  19. Tom Gould 19

    Question for Bennett, what happens if a solo Mum refuses her chemical sterilization and gets pregnant? No more money? Abortion? I wonder if she looks at her own daughter and thinks ‘you shouldn’t be alive, really’?

  20. Jennifer 20

    Question for Bennett, what happens if a solo Mum refuses her chemical sterilization and gets pregnant? No more money? Abortion? I wonder if she looks at her own daughter and thinks ‘you shouldn’t be alive, really’?

  21. Verity 21

    The only reason you guys are chattering away about this being a “eugenics” issue is because it has been introduced by a National Govt. If Helen Clark’s Govt. had proposed this she would have been lauded to the high heaven’s as the saviour of those who could not afford to pay for ensuring they did not produce unwanted, unaffordable children!

    I would far rather my taxes went to this initiative than to support unplanned pregnancies which sometimes end up in appalling child welfare stats. such as the children of the Kahuis and their like.

    The implant is not forever -it can be removed if and when the female chooses to have a child, preferably with a long term partner for support and it is VOLUNTARY! So I suggest you naysayers (and that ex beneficiary Bradford whose kids taxpayers forked out for) get out of the way as you just might be trampled on in the rush.

    And when the stats for child abuse by live in stepfathers, uncles and even biological fathers etc. go down – will you still be so vocal about free contraception. Just think of those children and rethink your negativity. Denying less well off women the right to control their own fertility is utterly selfish. We all know that children born into two parent families who know the sacrifices that parenting brings are more inclined to grow into responsible well adjusted adults.

    • QoT 21.1

      when the female chooses to have a child

      Mmmmmm, dehumanizing language is dehumanizing.

      • McFlock 21.1.1

        I would far rather my taxes went to this initiative than to support unplanned pregnancies which sometimes end up in appalling child welfare stats. such as the children of the Kahuis and their like
              

        Translates to: my bigotry and personal greed proudly offer themselves as solutions to my dinner being spoiled by TV news reports of things other than fluffy penguins stuck up trees.

    • I agree. There’s a bit too much slippery slopeitis on this, it’s an offer of assistance, that’s all.

      Someone just commented on Facebook:
      Only Sue Bradford could see beneficiaries being offered something free as beneficiary bashing. On her logic we should also take away the accommodation supplement, thats no different

      Same for Metiria Turei on Campbell tonight. The slippery slope may lead to removing the voiceboxes of politicians too. I know that’s a ridiculous example, but most slippery slope anti arguments are ridiculous.

      • QoT 21.2.1

        Hey, Pete, I just wanted to let you know that I’m quite happy to punch you in the balls any time you’re in Wellington.

        What? It’s just an offer of assistance, that’s all.

        [lprent: It looks more like a proffered threat to me. I’d suggest that you do not repeat the behaviour. You might hit a moderator (I am thinking of r0b) who is less inclined to just warn. ]

      • Pascal's bookie 21.2.2

        Pete, are you sure you’ve thought this through?

        Read this post: http://psychotherapy.org.nz/system-failure/#.T6iV87M3JSQ.twitter

        • Pete George 21.2.2.1

          I’ve thought of quite a few angles to it and am still exploring it, it’s a complex issue. A good example from your link:

          I think the question we need to ask is what can happen when people who have been disempowered, victimized by trauma, and suffering mental health difficulties engage with these policies in the real world?

          Yes, they could be susceptible to coercion – if the system set up allowed that possibility.

          But on the other hand is someone who is “victimized by trauma, and suffering mental health difficulties” be considering or risking pregnancy, or would be it be worth them taking precautions to delay that?

          However it’s done it ultimately needs to involve health professionals who should help make any decisions, but I’m not seeing much of a problem with beneficiaries being advised of what help is available if they are interested. Do you see a problem with that?

          • Pascal's bookie 21.2.2.1.1

            Pete, while you continue to think about it:

            This policy is only being aimed at women on a benefit. That’s deliberate, not an oversight.

            This ‘help’ is not a general program that women on a benefit are being ‘made aware of’.

            Work out why that is, and you know what this policy is for.

          • Descendant Of Smith 21.2.2.1.2

            So give them free medical appointments and family planning advice and then free access via health.

            Why have it linked at all to welfare?

            It’s not hard for health to confirm someone is on a benefit – or simply use the community services card criteria that health use for much of their work now – of course that will let a few rich farmers daughters slip in for free ligation but so what, who cares.

            The numbers volunteering will likely only be slightly higher than for crushed cars any way.

            In right-wing speak is there not a logic problem with

            A. These women are breeding for a business and
            B. Voluntarily give up your business assets.

            Seems bad business practice to me.

          • Kyle MacDonald 21.2.2.1.3

            Thanks for linking my blog “Pascal’s bookie.”

            Pete, I think it is a problem to link health choices in any way with the provision of income. As much as we can say “it will be fine” my experience is enough to tell me there will be times where the choice is taken out of young women’s hands. Advise can very easily become suggestion, and then coercion, real or perceived.

            It is hard to understand the disempowerment that can happen in systems such as WINZ from the outside in, but it is very real. Contraception is a health decision, not a welfare decision.

    • rosy 21.3

      “I would far rather my taxes went to this initiative than to support unplanned pregnancies which sometimes end up in appalling child welfare stats. such as the children of the Kahuis and their like”.

      I don’t have a problem with supporting people so that unplanned pregnancies can be prevented. Coercing beneficiaries to have long term contraception is not it. (and coercing includes those men who are abusive towards their partners because they DO want contraception)

      I’d far rather my taxes went into an initiative that improves the chances that people will have a purpose in life apart from having children and any believing bad relationship is better than no relationship. That means improving education, increasing jobs, improving childcare, reducing poverty, eliminating social exclusion and entrenched social positions, taking the outcomes of abusive relationships seriously and improving health (especially mental health and addiction) services. These are some of the factors that account for appalling child welfare stats, not getting pregnant.

    • Descendant Of Smith 21.4

      No if Labour introduced this I would still be aghast.

      Don’t have a problem with free contraception – have a problem with the linkages to welfare, the punitive nature of having penalties for having further children, the context around people on benefit being baby factories, and whores, and child abusers and the strong strong emphasis on the women.

      The couching of this in benevolent terms just pisses me off even more – it’s a long used tactic by those in power to control people.

      For your information the abuse stats will only go down when MEN stop abusing children and women – how the fuck do you think that by women A not having a child that Woman B’s kid won’t be abused.

    • just saying 21.5

      So I suggest you naysayers (and that ex beneficiary Bradford whose kids taxpayers forked out for) get out of the way as you just might be trampled on in the rush.

      This bullshit exemplifies the ignorance of your whole comment, which is founded on pure bigotry and malcious gossip in which beneficiaries are demonised to make you and your pathetic peer group feel better about your empty nasty lives.

      For your information Verity (and I’m sure you’ll continue to spout the same bullshit line in future anyway) Bradford has never been unemployed. Despite coming from a very posh professional family she has chosen to use her talents, energy, skills, and university qualifications to help those with none of her advantages. People like those you get such a kick out of kicking when they’re down. People who can’t fight back, which makes you so brave and powerful doesn’t it?

      • Verity 21.5.1

        “Bradford comes from a posh professional family” – those words are so telling, about you, that is.

        A closed, unthinking, marxist mindset which turns debates into a forum for personal insults. I really cannot be bothered with with such obvious losers like you and so many others in this “envy” blog.

        [lprent: Based on your previous comments and this one, you are pretty useless because you can’t argue without dumbarse assertions that you don’t backup or defend.

        I really can’t be bothered with whingers with obsessional ideologial stupidity from last century and a habit of trying to set the rules here. It is a familiar and rather boring pattern.

        I will save us all some pain. Permanently banned. You should have read the policy. ]

        • NickS 21.5.1.1

          Ahahahaha…

          Quite a beautiful example of a flounce there cupcake, and don’t worry, we wont miss your reality denial issues once bit.

          Especially when you whine instead of addressing counterpoints.

          Huggles,
          NickS

          • Descendant Of Smith 21.5.1.1.1

            That was a new meaning to the word flounce I hadn’t come across before.

            I like that!

            • NickS 21.5.1.1.1.1

              Pharyngula has many delicious memes :3

              I just wish lprent hadn’t banned them so soon, I like chew toys, especially of Verity’s type.

              • lprent

                I do try to leave some chew dolls around. But I do prefer the smarter ones who recognize that there is some value in interacting.

                This one did one of two things in his twelve comments. He either asserted based on his vast personal knowledge (using politial slogans and concepts that were current in the 1950’s) without a single link. Or he whined about people saying he was a fool who had no idea about what he was wanking on about – without ever refuting their argument. Kind of pointless arguing with someone who is so limited and only has those two modes. I got the impression that he was only comfortable arguing in the shower where the echoes were conducive to his arguments.

                There is sure to be a smarter one along some time soon…

  22. RedBaron 22

    FFS what do these people think they are on about.
    Does this really mean that someone whose marriage has broken down and they have teenage children and are on the DPB at least temporarily until property and maintenance are sorted out (this can take time even for the very wealthy) is going to be called in for the contraception talk? The DPB is a transitory benefit for most of the people who access it. Are all these people, whether short or long term beneficiaries suddenly less than human and are just there to be humiliated?

    And what about the daughters, do all these girls receive a letter on their 16th birthday or get called in for an “appointment” to discuss this option? It would be hard to think of a better way to embarrass and degrade a teenage girl. No doubt the first question would be about whether they are “sexually active” and what sort of a question is that to a teenager who “has done nothing wrong whatsoever” and is not responsible for her family situation.

    No mention of free contraception for the males who dump several families on the welfare. Why not?

    • Descendant Of Smith 22.1

      The rich males need the poor women sterilised so they can rut to their hearts content without having to sire any bastard children.

  23. RedBaron 23

    Think you could be onto something there DOS.

    Imagine the size of the uproar if males who had children on the benefit (not necessarily living with them), had to use contraception to prevent them having more children and are taxed a lot more if the contraception failed so they couldn’t dump any more kids onto the taxpayer.

  24. sooty 24

    if the beneficiary stops having children after the second child, give them a free transistor radio. Cost? about 5 bucks……. it worked in China

  25. Dr Terry 25

    Be sure, this Government is totally punitive toward beneficiaries, this is not hard to discern, it always emerges in the end. Priorities of Tories always have to do with financial gains (= “brighter future”).
    “Lesser humans” are means to this end.
    With regard to contraception, there will be no “compulsion” (yet! We are coming closer, however, to the ways of Key’s friends China!) Rather than fret about compulsion, reflect upon the more likely event of “coercion” the step which will precede compulsion. These matters surely “progress” step by step . . .
    How many beneficiaries (women and men) will bother too much about contraception at all? Most of them are probably too depressed to make the effort. As for teenagers, how many will give a thought to contraception and consequences (any more than did Bennett herself!) These are the years of the old notion, “It won’t happen to me!!”
    Anyway, as someone suggested, how much is the issue a distraction from other matters (asset sales, ACC leaks, Banks, financial slide, unemployment rise, foreign affairs mess, student loans cruelty, child poverty, – oh, need I continue? This is wearing me out!

  26. Verity 26

    Mcflock – personal attacks in answer in any debate shows your lack of lateral thinking – if you don’t think that free contraception should be offered to those that are in the higher group of child abuse because of my “personal greed and bigotry” then you are lacking in humanity.

    So tell me, where and in what community are the higher child abuse stats – you know as well as I do where this happens and why it happens but you just can’t admit it because Labour didn’t have the guts to address the problem and your nose has been put out of joint. So you twist it into an argument about “forced chemical sterilisation”. Get a grip on reality man.

    • McFlock 26.1

      I’m not the one who apparently thinks that “child” is the problematic word in “child abuse”.
           
      Hospital admissions for children due to assault are highly skewed towards children with residences in high deprivation areas (including the working poor). And then there’s the non-abuse issues, such as respiratory disease or skin infections.
         
      Frankly, I don’t think that even adults should live in deprivation, let alone children. You want to solve child abuse, you’d have better luck working on deprivation rather than sterilizing the poor. I believe the Victorians dabbled in the latter option, and it didn’t work so well.

    • McFlock 26.2

      btw – who even fecking mentioned “forced chemical sterilization”?
       
      I just found it interesting that you felt your concern for your tax dollars was a factor in the debate.

  27. logie97 27

    Today Key confirmed that he makes a lot of it up.

    Apparently WINZ scrapped case manager portfolios a long time ago and clients do not have individual case managers. Mr Key said case managers usually knew the beneficiaries well and the issues they faced. “So we expect those case workers to be able to engage.”

    Oh that we had informed journalists who could challenge him when he opens his mouth.

  28. Mike 28

    Why don’t they just make contraception free for anyone with a valid community services card, then it would be seen as not targeting any specific group of NZ women.

    I honestly recoiled in shock when I read that Key and Bennett had previously considered or even discussed compulsion and not dismissed it immediately. Surely even diehard National supporters (although probably not the bunch of habitual beneficiary and poor bashers) can see what a hugely dangerous path compulsory or forced contraception or medication of any kind would start leading us down??? Would the next step be forced sterilization of beneficiaries, the mentally ill and so on? Anyone who thinks that offering free contraceptives wouldn’t eventually lead to much worse anti rights legislation such as compulsory contraception, compulsory sterilization , etc, isn’t thinking for starters and also needs to research a bit of history

    That aside, I wonder if they’ve even considered the fact that compulsion would be completely unworkable anyway. I mean as an example, how could winz possibly prove that a woman was or wasn’t taking or using contraception when she fell pregnant? We all know that “accidental” babies can happen despite contraception. And if by some miracle they could prove it, what are they going to do, force an abortion? Or cut off the benefit for a pregnant woman? How is cutting her benefit going to cost society less in the long term?

    Why don’t we just get rid of (or preferably euthanize) all currency speculators, investment bankers, hedge fund managers, etc. While we’re at it we could start heavily regulating financial markets as well as enforcing moral and ethical expectations in regards to corporations having to prove they are benefiting society whilst operating. These would have an infinitely more positive impact on society than trying to stop beneficiaries from having kids. The author is right, the only remotely acceptable form this could take is to make it free for everyone who wants it.

    Regardless, this is a distraction from far more important issues

  29. schmoepooh 29

    Reproduction has always been an issue, social, political and religious. Ask any anthropologist. Sue Bradford and others have read their Plato, Engels and Brownmiller. The nuclear family is evil, the nursery of capitalism and patriarchy, ergo solo mums financed by the State. If that isn’t intervention what is it? I see some commentators think it is acceptable if it is camouflaged by universality. There is no such thing as a free condom.

    • NickS 29.1

      The nuclear family is evil

      lolwut?

      the nursery of capitalism and patriarchy,

      lolwut?

      ergo solo mums financed by the State. If that isn’t intervention what is it?

      lolfuckingwat?

      Sadly that’s all I can say, otherwise my brain might melt as we attempt to model wtf you’re going on about.

      Particularly given teh glaring contradiction lurking in the semantics.

    • muzza 29.2

      Yes I agree, there has been and a concerted attack on the nuclear family, it has been going on for a very long time…

      Many fronts have been at play, govt policy runs through most of them!

      Keep people as busy and as confused, and unclear of their roles and responsibilies in life as you can, then you can really divide and conquer effectively.

      Once the “lower echelons” of society have been well and truly decimated, then you can really lay the hammer down onto the weakened “middle class”

    • Have you even had a conversation with Sue Bradford, let alone listened to her speak in her own words?

      Because I don’t think you’d be putting those words in her mouth if you had.

      As for there being no such thing as a free condom- in the sense that someone has to pay for it- sure. But the alternative to using condoms is a much higher birthrate than is good for us or the planet, so it’s worth paying, especially if we pool our resources and make them available to everyone in reasonable amounts, so people don’t have to choose between safe sex and whatever else they might spend their money on.)

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