Killing Children

There are so many horrors on my radar right now that it is literally jammed.  Where to start?  Okay, let’s begin somewhere …

I had seen a snippet or two, here and there, but usually while I was deep into research for another post, and I bookmarked a couple of them to look at later, then promptly forgot … predictable, when I have so many different things on such a small mind, yes?  Anyway, earlier today I received an email from my dear friend Cheryl, and in it she mentioned her frustration that her church had put together many kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and other personal care items to be donated to the migrant children being held in captivity, but that Customs and Border “Protection” would not accept them!  This triggered the memory of those articles I had bookmarked, so I went back and did a bit of digging (one needs a long-handled shovel to dig through the memory banks in my head or in the file labeled ‘notes’ on my laptop!)

On June 24th, the Texas Tribune reported …

On Sunday, Austin Savage and five of his friends huddled into an SUV and went to an El Paso Target, loading up on diapers, wipes, soaps and toys.

About $340 later, the group headed to a Border Patrol facility holding migrant children in nearby Clint with the goal of donating their goods. Savage said he and his friends had read an article from The New York Times detailing chaos, sickness and filth in the overcrowded facility, and they wanted to help.

But when they arrived, they found that the lobby was closed. The few Border Patrol agents — Savage said there were between eight and 10 of them — moving in and out of a parking facility ignored them.

For a while, the group stood there dumbfounded about what to do next. Ultimately, they decided to pack up and head home. Savage said he wasn’t completely surprised by the rejection; before he left, the group spotted a discarded plastic bag near the lobby door holding toothpaste and soap that had a note attached to it: “I heard y’all need soap + toothpaste for kids.”

04 Diapers Toys Donations Detention Center Clint AM TT.jpgA slew of other sympathetic people, advocacy groups and lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have expressed a desire to lend a hand to the kids housed in the facilities. But after purchasing items like toys, soap, toothbrushes, diapers and medicine — especially as news reports circulate of facilities having drinking water that tastes like bleach and sick children without enough clothing — they’ve been met with a common message: No donations are being accepted.

Say WHAT???

Last week, I wrote a post titled Cruel and Inhumane  about the conditions these poor children … CHILDREN … are living in.  Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson wrote an opinion piece that went into even greater detail  .  These children are given a piece of f**king tin foil for a blanket, have no toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, and in some cases no diapers.  They are suffering from illness, cold, and malnutrition.  They are CHILDREN, and they are being treated worse than prisoners of war would be treated under the Geneva Convention!!!

Our government cannot be bothered to spend a few thousand dollars for the comfort and health of these children, but they can spend millions or more on an ego trip for Damnold Trump to “honour himself” on the Fourth of July???  And on top of it all, they will not allow those of us who have a conscience, those of us who feel compassion toward these children, who understand that they are every bit as valuable as our own children … we are not allowed to donate such necessities of life as soap to these poor children???

The friend I mentioned above writes a blog, Impromptu Promptlings, and she did an excellent rant about this last evening.  Please take a minute to read it, to let her add her voice to the fury of my own.

When you go to bed tonight, ponder on something.  Ask yourself what kind of country you are living in.  You get up each morning, proceed through your daily routine … the view outside your window likely looks much the same as it did three years ago.  But it isn’t the same.  This isn’t the same country.  This is a country that respects an over-bloated megalomaniac far more than it respects the lives of children.  This is a nation that supports an agency of the federal government that is murdering children … yes, I said murdering.  They are sick, they are not given proper hygiene, they are not given proper nutrition, and they are lacking the love of their parents that is so essential to the health and well-being, to the development of children.

Ask yourself, as you lie awake pondering this, what can we do?  How can we stop this madness?  Oh sure, there is an election in 16 months, and we can vote the madman out of office … maybe … but how many more children will die before then?  Six children that we know of have already died of abuse or neglect in the concentration camps … and yes, they ARE concentration camps by any definition of the word.  How many more must die?  How can we stop this utter insanity?  Think about it.  Get mad.  Let’s figure this out, folks, for those little kids are counting on somebody to help them.

First Snarky Snippets of 2019!!!

Okay folks … the holidays are over!!!  Whew … now it’s time to get back into the routine, and what better way to start 2019 than with an abundance of snarkasm?  Perhaps I will make it a tradition to begin every year with Snarky Snippets! snarky-toon 2019 deserves to be started in such a manner, for just a few hours into the year and just look at all that is wrong with the world!  Let’s begin with a man who I have long abhorred … Representative Peter T. King, a republican from New York.


Just last week …

Peter-King-ICE

Now, I first take issue with his statement that ICE is doing a great job, since only two children have died!  ONLY???  What if one of those children had been your own, Mr. King???  But it goes even deeper than that, for also last week, video footage was obtained by The Arizona Republic from the Arizona Department of Health under the public records law.  The videos show children being physically abused – dragged, slapped, and shoved – by staffers at Casa Padre, a migrant shelter operated by Southwest Key. The videos are from September, and the facility was shuttered in October after a number of violations, including failure to obtain background checks on staff members.

Another such facility, Casa Kokopelli, also operated by Southwest Key, has been charged with eleven sex offenses by a staff member against at least eight children in their care.  ProPublica investigated Southwest Key and the sex offenses back in August, and when they asked Southwest Key representative Jeff Eller a question regarding how the company would assure children’s safety in the future, Mr. Eller replied …

“We find the premise of your question dishonorable.”

Say WHAT???  Who’s the dishonourable party here?  And Mr. King says they are all doing a great job because only two children have died so far.

bullshit

This is not the first time Mr. King has crossed my radar, by the way.  In May, I wrote a piece titled An Ugly Voice — Peter T. King.  I will be writing a letter to Mr. King later today.  Meanwhile, anyone want to lay odds that more children will die while held in U.S. custody in the coming year?


Without conscience …Hyde-SmithRemember Cindy Hyde-Smith, the racist woman who won a U.S. Senate seat in a special election in Mississippi in late November?  She said she would happily attend a lynching, and made a host of other racist remarks, yet Trump called her a “fine woman” … I guess he meant that in the same vein as when he called the white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, “fine people”.  Anyway, after her blatantly and sinister racist remarks, a number of people who had donated to her campaign asked for their contributions back, not wishing to be affiliated with such a horrid person.

Aetna, AT&T, Boston Scientific, Facebook, Google, Leidos, Pfizer, Union Pacific, and Walmart all requested their donations back, but Cindy has, apparently, decided she would keep the money.  Legally, she is under no obligation to return the money, and she seems to have no intention to do so.  Surprised, aren’t you?


How does he love thee?

Donald Trump claims to be on the side of the people … says he loves the people (just so long as they aren’t democrats, African-Americans, Muslims, or gay) and just to show them how much he loves them, he has … frozen their pay!  And some 800,000 of them aren’t getting any pay right now, either, thanks to Uncle Donnie!  I’m so happy that he doesn’t love me!

In what was, I hope, his last ‘executive order’ of 2018, with a slash of his pen he played god and froze the salaries & wages of some 2.1 million federal workers!  The military will still get their 2.6% pay increase (not the 10% Trump falsely told the soldiers in Iraq when he visited there at Christmas).  Civilian federal workers were initially slated to receive a 2.1% increase, but back in the summer, Trump began saying that the government could not afford it.  Funny, isn’t it, that we can afford all Trump’s excesses, covering Secret Service expenses for his sons as they flit about the world on Trump Organization business?  We can afford Trump’s near-weekly golf outings and trips to Mar-a-Lago, and he claims we can afford $5 billion to be thrown away on the beginnings of a useless border wall.  But we cannot afford a lousy 2.1% pay increase for the men and women who work to keep the federal government running smoothly.  Damn shame, if you ask me!

And what about last December’s tax cut for the wealthy?  If we could afford to give huge raises to multi-millionaires and billionaires, why can’t we afford to give measly 2.1% pay increases to the woman who helps us sign up for Social Security, or to the man who keeps our planes from crashing, or the person teaching our children?

Congress can and likely will include raises for federal workers in any spending bill they propose after the new Congress is seated in two days, but speculation is that it will be for 1.9%, not 2.1%.  Peanuts?  Sure, but hey … 0.2% of a $60,000 salary means a lot more to the federal worker than the extra million or more the rich coal barons got via Trump’s tax cuts.

I won’t be surprised to see a bad case of the ‘blue flu’ before long in the departments of the federal government.


Okay … that concludes this morning’s snippets.  I just felt the need to show those in power that the 2019 Filosofa is not any kinder or gentler than the 2018 Filosofa was, and I will pursue truth and justice this year even more diligently than last!  Look out, Trumpie … I’m in line right behind Bob Mueller for a pound of your flesh!

Good People Doing Good Things – Rob & Reece Scheer

This week, good people have been dropping into my lap!  No, not literally … that is actually Princess Nala you see on my lap.  But several times in the past week I have come across stories about good people.  This morning, I would like to introduce you to two of those good people:  Rob Scheer, and his husband Reece. Rob and Reece ScheeerRob Scheer was raised in an abusive household where his parents, both alcoholics and drug addicts, thought it was great fun to hold guns to their children’s heads from time to time.  When he was ten-years-old, his parents died and Rob was placed in foster care, carrying all his worldly belongings in a trash bag.  Rob was determined to rise above his beginnings, to define his own path in life.

At age 18, as typically happens with foster kids, Rob found himself homeless.  Not knowing what else to do, he joined the military.  When he got out, he took an office job and over the next decade and a half, successfully climbed the corporate ladder.  When he and Reece were married, they both knew they wanted to be dads … and they planned to adopt a child … one child … through the foster care system.  Well, you all know that saying, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”?  The first child available was actually two children, a sister and brother, Amaya and Makai.  And then before long, there were two more, Tristan and Greyson!  Even though Rob and Reece had planned to adopt only one child, they adopted all four, all but Amaya being under the age of two! Scheer-2One of the children, Makai, was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and had special needs.  Reece came across an article that said children with FAS seemed to recover when they were raised around animals and in fresh air.  So what did Rob & Reece do?  Why, they bought a farm, of course!  But not just a farm … they also bought goats and chickens and ducks!  They are an amazing family, each child knowing beyond a doubt that he or she is loved and wanted.Scheer-1And while adopting those four gorgeous children, buying a farm, and loving them so much would be enough to qualify them as ‘good people’ in my book, the story doesn’t end there!  Rob was disturbed when, some 30 years after his own horrific experience of his first foster home and that garbage bag with his belongings, all four of his kids came to them in the exact same way … with their meager belongings in a garbage bag.  This weighed heavily on Rob’s mind, and he decided to take the bull by the horns, to do something to change it, and he started a non-profit called Comfort Cases.

“I couldn’t believe it. The trash bag that I had carried so many years prior to that had found its way back into my life. It’s just not acceptable that any child should carry their belongings in something that we all throw our trash in and dispose of.”

At this point, I want to let Rob tell you a bit about himself, the family, and Comfort Cases …

Part of the mission statement of Comfort Cases reads …

“At Comfort Cases we believe that every child deserves to feel a sense of dignity.  Every child deserves to pack their belongings in a special bag that they can call their own.  It is our mission as a charity to provide a proper bag, filled with comfort and essential items, to these brave youth in foster care on their journey to find their forever home.”Scheer clan on Ellen

Recently Rob & Reece were featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  I cannot embed the clip, but here is a link and I will tell you … you won’t regret seeing this and there won’t likely be a dry eye in the house!   At the end  of the segment, Ellen surprised the men with a check for $10,000 and $40,000 worth of luggage cases donated by Samsonite.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Rob and Reece through these two video clips … I think they are awesome men!  Meanwhile, two-thumbs up to Rob and Reece Scheer, two men who have done and continue to do good things for foster children!

Another Strike Against Women …

I am beginning to wonder why we have Congress at all, for it seems that Trump and his administration are doing pretty much whatever Trump wants done without the approval of our elected officials.  Executive orders and cabinet-level decisions have become the norm, bypassing the legislative branch altogether.

Legislative:  having the power to make laws

By now you have all heard the news, that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “rolled back” (translation: eradicated) the ACA requirement that employer’s insurance plans cover contraception (birth control).  Now any company can refuse to provide insurance plans that include birth control based on ‘religious or moral’ grounds.  Let us not kid ourselves here … companies will indeed cite religious or moral grounds and they will indeed drop coverage of birth control, but the real reason will be because it will save them money.  General Motors is a company, owned by a group of shareholders, none of whom give a whit whether their employees use birth control or not.  But they do care about seeing the value of their stock go up, they do care about their dividend check.

I understand why some people have strong feelings about abortion.  It is, as it should be, a topic to be seriously considered, and while I fully support a woman’s right to choose, I can also see why others may feel differently.  But birth control???  In this, the 21st century, people still have moral objections to birth control? I do not believe that more than a very small percentage can actually wish a family to have an unlimited number of children that they can barely afford to feed.  I cannot believe that any thinking person wishes to see the population of the world soar, just as food supplies are diminishing due to the effects of climate change.  I have a hard time seeing that those people really want to be responsible for children being born into families where they will be abused and neglected.  If that is what the religious right are supporting, I really have to question the moral values they claim.

Does anybody besides me find it odd that there is such a hue and cry over birth control for women, yet nobody seems bothered, nobody says a word about the fact that a large number of insurance plans cover Viagra for men, a drug that has no actual medical benefit, but is merely for men’s … pleasure?  Am I the only one who sees a disparity here? Women’s economic, physical and emotional health vs. men’s pleasure.  Hmmmm … tell me again that it is not still a man’s world?

This action on the part of HHS will certainly be challenged, for already women’s health care groups are preparing lawsuits, and ultimately the issue is likely to end up on the docket of the Supreme Court.  Meanwhile, how many women will suffer? In light of today’s action, I would suggest that the Department of Health and Human Services should be renamed to the Department of Religious and Moral Services, for they have shown their disregard for both health and humans.

In August, Trump struck another blow against women’s rights when he suspended a proposed policy that would have required companies to disclose pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the purpose of identifying gender and racial pay gaps.  This action, combined with today’s announcement are a reversal of rights that women have fought for in the past decades and set a course that is disturbing, to say the least.

But the even bigger aspect, as I see, is the fact that this administration has been busily abusing its power for more than eight long months, and one must ask the question:  what next?  I think it would be best if we return to having the legislative branch, Congress, make the laws based on what is best for the nation as a whole, not merely one segment of religious zealots.

A Tale Of Three Tragedies …

This is the story I should not be writing.  This is the story that never should have even happened.  This is the story that seems to happen more and more, and frankly is inexcusable.  Three separate headlines:

2 Texas Toddlers Died After Being Left In Car Overnight, Sheriff Says

7-Month-Old Dead After Left In Hot Car Outside NW Houston Business

Texas Mother Held After Two Toddlers Die In Hot Car

All three stories are eerily similar, involving the senseless death of innocent, helpless young children, careless or cruel parents, and they all took place in Texas.  This is the best argument I have seen yet for free and readily available birth control, and even abortion would be less cruel than the agonizing death these children suffered.

The first story took place on June 7th.  The children’s mother, Amanda Hawkins, was inside a friend’s house at a party and left the children, Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2, and Brynn Hawkins, 1, inside the car for 15 hours, from the evening of Tuesday, June 6, to about noon on Wednesday, June 7. During the night of partying, friends told Hawkins they could hear the girls crying, and told Hawkins to bring her daughters inside, but she refused. “No it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep,” she said. When she discovered the girls and realized they were dead, she attempted to bathe them before finally taking them to the hospital.  At the hospital, she told doctors that she had been out walking with the girls and they had collapsed after “smelling flowers”. Eventually the true story came out. Amanda and her husband Isaac Hawkins were investigated by Child Protective Services last year, and investigators say it was not the first time she had left the children in her SUV.

Amanda Hawkins

The second story took place just last Friday, June 23rd. The baby’s father, whose name has not yet been released by police, was to take his three children to daycare and the babysitter on his way to work.  He dropped off the two older children at their daycare facility, but forgot to take the baby to the sitter. He arrived at his workplace around 9:30 a.m., and it was approximately 10 hours later when his wife called to ask where the baby was.  The baby, of course, was in the car … dead.

And the final story took place on May 26th when Cynthia Marie Randolph found her two small children playing in the car and decided to “teach them a lesson” by locking them both in the car.  Then she proceeded to go into the house, smoke some marijuana, and take a 2-3 hour nap.  When she returned to the car later that afternoon, the children, Juliet, age 2, and Cavanaugh, age 16-months, were both dead.  She broke a window after finding the children, trying to make it look as if it had been an accident.

Cynthia Marie Randolph

In my research for these three, I also came across three other similar cases just this year, but the above are enough to make my point.  A few facts …

  • Each year, approximately 40 children die in the U.S. from heat stroke after being trapped in a car.
  • Most children who have died from a heat stroke after being alone in a car are 3 years of age and under, but it has happened to even older kids.
  • The temperature inside a car can increase by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be hot outside to be really dangerous inside the car.
  • A child’s body heats up to 3-5 times faster than an adult’s body and has not yet developed the same ability to cool down well.

More than a few times we have heard of parents ‘forgetting’ their child in the car when they go to work.  The organization Kids and Cars advises parents to always look in the backseat of their vehicle before locking it. They should also put something in the backseat they’ll need such as their cell phone, employee ID or briefcase.

But the first and third story are the worst … these are ‘parents’ who never should have become parents, who have not enough common sense to be responsible for the life of a pet goldfish, let alone a child.  These are cruel young women who put their own pleasure before the lives of their children.  In years past, most incidences of children dying in hot cars stemmed from neglect and carelessness.  That in itself is bad enough, but lately the stories of cruelty seem to be on the rise.  This makes a statement, I think.  It says that society is becoming, as we are already aware, more of a ‘me-centric’ society, one where one’s own desires take precedence over all else.  Even the lives of innocent children, apparently.

It is my hope that at the very least, the two young women who intentionally left their children in a hot car while pursuing their own pleasure serve very long prison sentences.  It is my hope that organizations like the AMA, CDC, and Kids and Cars keep this issue in the forefront of everyone’s attention.  And it is my hope that people read about these atrocities and are so horrified that they become more conscientious, more aware, and that these tragedies never happen again.

sad

It Is Now Legal To Beat Your Spouse, Child, Or Elderly Parent … In Russia

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a controversial amendment that decriminalizes domestic violence. The amendment would decriminalize any violence that does not cause serious medical harm, which is defined as requiring hospital treatment. Beatings that leave bruises, scratches or bleeding but do not leave lasting negative health effects such as broken bones or concussion will no longer be criminal.

There is, understandably, fury among women’s activist groups in Russia.  Filosofa is spluttering with rage!  It should be duly noted that the bill was drafted by two women:  Yelena Mizulina, an ultra-conservative MP who was also behind the controversial Russian law banning “gay propaganda”, and Olga Batalina.

russiaDomestic violence is widely acknowledged to be a major problem in Russia, with more than 10,000 women believed to die from injuries inflicted by husbands or partners every year. So what, we might ask, is the justification for a law that makes it legal to beat your spouse, partner, child, or even elderly parent?  Read on …

  • The law is about protecting Russian traditions according to which the family is sacred. Priest Dmitry Smirnov, head of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchy’s commission on family matters, said on a television program that the idea the state should be able to poke its nose into family affairs was a western imposition on Russia.
  • An article last week in the science section of the popular tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda cheerfully told readers about an “advantage” of wife-beating. It said: “Recent scientific studies show the wives of angry men have a reason to be proud of their bruises. Biologists say that beaten-up women have a valuable advantage: they more often give birth to boys!”
  • It supports “traditional values” and stops the state from snooping into family matters.
  • According to Putin himself, “unceremonious interference with the family is impermissible”.
  • “If he beats you, it means he loves you.”

So there you have it … all good reasons to tolerate violence and abuse as the norm, right? A recent poll showed that 59% or those polled would prefer a ‘softer’ version of the law, and only 17% were completely against the law. Personally, I am glad I don’t live in Russia, and am also glad that nobody has ever loved me so much they felt a need to beat me.

Apparently law enforcement in Russia have not historically taken domestic abuse claims very seriously in the past anyway.  Anna Kirey, deputy director for Russia and Eurasia at Amnesty International, said: “This bill is a sickening attempt to trivialize domestic violence, which has long been viewed as a non-issue by the Russian government.”

Take, for example, the story last year of Anna Zhavnerovich.    After her boyfriend beat her unconscious, Anna went to the police to file a report and have him arrested.  Rather than empathy …

“They asked me why I didn’t have any children,” she remembers. “They asked me if I was married.” Beneath their line of questioning was the suggestion that somehow the attack was her fault. They told her that they would investigate, but a few weeks later she received a letter informing her that the case had been dropped. Her ex-boyfriend had not been questioned and no further action was proposed. When she tried to hire a lawyer to start a private suit, she was told that the police had lost her files.

In the past, the penalty for domestic violence charges, if pursued by police, could have been as much as two years in prison and a fine.  Now, the penalty is likely to be a fine of up to 30,000 rubles, or about $500 USD. And, if convicted of abuse a second time within a year, the abuser may … or may not … face a jail sentence.  Initially there was a proposal to exclude abuse of pregnant women, but that was thrown out, so it is also legal to beat your pregnant wife in Russia.

I understand cultural differences, but this, folks, is NOT a cultural difference.  Granted, Russian culture is more patriarchal than that of the western world, but nonethess, this is state-sanctioned cruelty.  State-sanctioned inhumanity.  No human being deserves to be beaten.  Period.  Congratulations, Mr. Putin … you just added yet another black mark to your record for cruelty and violations of human rights.  The next woman, child or elderly person who dies at the hand of a domestic abuser is on your conscience.

Thoughts on Zubik …

I have a simple question.  Why is birth control such a controversial topic?  I understand the various reasons some people are against abortion, and, while I fully support a woman’s right to choose, right of control over her own body, it took me some years to come to that conclusion.  I readily admit that.  But what I am talking about here is birth control.  We are not talking about a fetus, a fertilized egg, or anything for which there can be any debate about “when life begins”.  We are talking about preventing pregnancy, not terminating it.

A look at some cold hard facts surrounding children born to parents who were not ready to be parents:

  • On any given day, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the United States.
  • In 2014, over 650,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care. On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years and seven percent of children in foster care have languished there for five or more years.
  • There are 423,773 children in the U.S. foster care system; 114,556 of these children are available for adoption.
  • Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse.
  • Children under the age of one were most vulnerable and accounted for 40.9% of all fatalities;
  • 5% of maltreatment-related fatality victims were age six and under.
  • 6% of child fatalities resulted from neglect alone, 26.3% from physical abuse alone, and 21.9% from both neglect and physical abuse.
  • Most child fatalities (82.8%) were the result of maltreatment by one or both parents
  • Mothers acting alone were the perpetrators in 32.4% of child abuse- and neglect-related fatalities.
  • 9 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the United States.
  • Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
  • About 80% of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • 14% of all men and 36% of all women in prison were abused as children.
  • Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.

So tell me again why some find birth control “immoral” or objectionable?

In the beginning, ACA, (Obamacare) included a provision that employers must provide to their employees heathcare insurance that would include birth control.  Religious employers such as Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A objected, saying they should not be forced to pay for birth control when they object on religious/moral grounds.  So, in 2014, the case of Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. came before the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn the birth control clause under ACA.  In layman’s terms, the Supreme Court said, “Okay, sure.  Then we will give you a simple form to fill out, saying that you are objecting on religious grounds, and then the insurance company and/or the U.S. government will bear the burden of providing birth control coverage to those women employed by you.”   But noooooooo …. filling out a form is asking too much!  And now along comes Zubik!

The case of Zubik v Burwell requests “full exemptions”, meaning that religious organizations who decide that they object to covering the costs of birth control on moral/religious grounds, should not be required to even do so much as fill out a simple form.  The reality is not that the form is too cumbersome … it is a single-page form!  The reality is that these companies are determined to do everything in their power to prevent their employees from obtaining birth control coverage.

Which brings me back to my original question: WHY?  Do they really prefer the idea of children being abused, even killed, rather than a woman taking a daily pill?  Do they really prefer thinking about all the children who suffer abuse and/or neglect because they have no responsible parent to protect them?  Or is it just easier to not think about it at all? The very same people who are against birth control are willing to turn a blind eye to the 36,000 plus humans in the U.S. who are murdered … yes, murdered … by guns every year!  This is a world where teenagers experiment with sex, get pregnant, have babies … babies that they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, prepared to take care of.  This is a world where middle-income working couples plan to reach certain financial goals before settling in to start a family, but with that choice taken away from them, they have a child and leave him/her to strangers to raise while they continue to pursue their financial goals.

Readily available and affordable birth control is not a panacea to conquering teen pregnancies, child abuse, or child neglect, but it is a start.  Those who are so offended by abortion should welcome making birth control available to all.  Without access to birth control, there will be more abortions, there will be more teen pregnancies, and there will be higher numbers of abused and neglected children.  That is not an opinion, it is a fact. I cannot comprehend how anybody in light of the statistics above, finds birth control objectionable.  Even so, the government asks only that an organization finding it objectionable on religious grounds fill out a form – a single-page form.  Is that really so hard?  Think about it.