Russell and Duenes

If You Actually Want to Give Birth to Your Child, It’ll Cost You!

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natural-childbirth-142I have in the past remarked that it would difficult to find a culture that has outwardly promoted “feminism” and “women’s right” more than ours, while at the same time actually treating women with contempt and disdain. There are many ways to demonstrate this, but it came home to me again yesterday as my wife was commenting on a New York Times story about the cost of giving birth. (American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World). One woman without maternity coverage was told by her local hospital that her birth would cost somewhere between $4,000 and $45,000. It isn’t shocking that the hospital didn’t have a clue about the cost, since one of the massive problems with our health care system is that nobody know what anything costs because prices are not allowed to play their proper role. But I digress. The cost we’re looking at in America is, on average, over $10,000 to give birth. I’m low-balling this, and that’s an average. It’s also a travesty.

Further, the radiology department wanted to charge this woman just shy of a grand to get an ultrasound, which she was ultimately able to bargain down to $655. Moreover, the article informs us that “[i]n 2011, 62 percent of women in the United States covered by private plans that were not obtained through an employer lacked maternity coverage,” like the woman above. Here in the land of “feminism” it cost more than double the highest cost in Europe, and triple the highest cost for a C-section.

The article goes on to chronicle the manner in which we pay for maternity care in America, showing it to be highly inefficient and cost-intensive. It also discusses the fact that if states have to foot the bill under government health plans, many states are going to go broke: “Medicaid, the federal-state government health insurance program for the poor, pays for more than 40 percent of all births nationally, including more than half of those in Louisiana and Texas. But even Medicaid, whose payments are regarded as so low that many doctors refuse to take patients covered under the program, paid an average of $9,131 for vaginal births and $13,590 for Caesarean deliveries in 2011.” But you can check this all out for yourself over at the Times.

I raise the issue because what I see all around me is politicians, pundits, and sundry other “women’s rights” advocates shouting from the rooftops that we need more access to abortion and contraceptives. We simply must have this, and it should be very affordable, if not free, for all women. But when it comes to a mother actually having her child, rather than having him or her killed, suddenly it costs an arm and a leg. Where’s the indignation? Where’s the outrage? There are few things, if indeed there is anything, that are more inextricably bound to being a woman than having a baby. It’s utterly unique to women, women who we as a culture claim to hold in such high esteem. But it seems we don’t hold the having of babies in high esteem. No, if you want to do that, you’re gonna have to pay, and through the nose. If we want to encourage women to have their babies, and to not look at childbearing as a “punishment,” this seems like it might be a good place to start. Maybe in the Church.

Somebody can tell me if I’m missing something, other than the relative silence about women having to pay five figures to do something that is so central to human existence, and which often does not require a lot of techno-gadgetry.



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