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A Bill Dies in Denver

.....that should have passed if liberals are, actually liberals and conservatives are, actually conservative....

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, May 06, 2015.

Here's the thing. Actual Republican conservatives have more in common with progressives in some surprising areas than other supposed Republicans. Sensing this, rather than knowing it, the GOP has to appeal to broad, often baseless fear of an aging white population of mediocrities primarily scared of losing their social status amidst undeniable evidence it was rarely deserved, and impossible to hand down to their children as it was handed down to them. Therefore, anything that smacks of change at all is the enemy. Not just energetic immigrants but old time social mores and strata lines as defined by a white patriarchy of declining status.

They keep the focus on the melodrama of abortion rather than birth control, the solution that would near eliminate abortion and permit female social emancipation. This terrifies the GOP: abortion is the issue where they can pose as saving children and protecting life. To keep it alive, and their own ignorant, they smother public discussion of birth control, feigning sincere ethical or religious concerns about children's health, physical and mental both. If you're for birth control you use Placenta Helper in your kitchen.

Things do change, though. Coloradopols.com reported on a vote last week where our Colorado Republicans defeated a bill sponsored by one of their own.

It seems a GOP state rep from Montrose, Don Coram, a cattleman, was a cosponsor of a program to increase women's use of long-term birth-control methods like the intrauterine device, the IUD, or hormonal implants, for the horrible reason that these methods work. All available evidence says he's right. He's being a good representative.

Coram in the early 1980s was on the school board. Montrose County then had a high teen-pregnancy rate, leading to many female drop outs. Coram did due diligence and said "80 percent of teen mothers that become pregnant will be on welfare within a year. At age 30, of these teen girls, only 1.5 percent of them will have earned a [college] degree. Daughters of teen mothers are 22 percent more likely themselves to become teen mothers. Sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to be incarcerated."

Warren Buffett's late wife Susan's Foundation had given a $23.6 million grant to a program in Colorado resulting in Coram's bill, The Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy. The Foundation grant made IUD's and implants free and available for some years previous. Both methods are long-acting and reversible with no maintenance and a less than 1 percent failure rate. There is an upfront cost of $1200 which the Foundation covered, but it's a far cheaper birth control method overall than anything else.

Coram read the research. The program worked, with participation went from 5% of women in the study to 24%. The teen birth rate dropped by 40%. The state saved $5.85 for every short term Medicaid dollar spent. A huge success.

But Colorado Republicans went ballistic against making it a state program on tax money. They lied about it. Republican Senate Majority Leader Kevin Lundberg said it was “poor science,” citing a falsehood that IUDs work by terminating a pregnancy, when they prevent pregnancy. Then state Senator Owen Hill wanted to pose as saving tax payer dollars, and said government should play no role in birth control. His peer Larry Crowder thought it too expensive despite evidence it saved money. Fellow GOP rep Kathleen Conti suggested birth control might make women promiscuous.

Coram is puzzled. "If you are like I am, and you do not support abortion, you want to break the cycle of poverty, you want young people to have a better life, you want to save taxpayer dollars—why would you not support this legislation?" Boulder rep K.C. Becker, who cosponsored this bill with Corram and is a straight ahead liberal, could not and has not said it better.

Well, Representative Corram, you're a conservative, and your party is not. It's racist, and wants a striated society with status achieved at birth and denoted by skin and religious affiliation easily identifiable, just like the car you drive in Hollywood or the accent you have in England Id's folks' status. Unwanted children is just cheap labor in their eyes, a commodity. Ruined lives are just the wastage of their social wars against the founding point of the United States. Keep your opponents poor for vaguely plausible reasons buttressed by religion and fake science. Nothing scares them more than actual conservatives and progressives working constructively together and discovering how much they have in common as goals. Far more than either side imagined.