Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bradford Bleats Over Breeding Barriers

Free contraception for female beneficiaries.
How can this be regarded as intrusive?
Yet some call the recent govt. announcement an intrusion on women's rights to have kids!
Part of the govt's $287.5m welfare reforms is offering free long-term contraception to women on benefits. But moaners say this borders on state control!
The move is to support beneficiaries getting back into work, with the contraception offered to teenagers on benefits from July, then to all women on benefits (and their daughters aged 16-19) from October.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says youth and teen parents will be targeted - they're most at risk of staying on benefits long-term and having more kids while on welfare.
But Auckland Action Against Poverty's Sue Bradford (yeup, it HAD to be HER who opened her gob!) says while it's voluntary, it's "totally unacceptable" for the govt to get involved in women's reproduction, "because beneficiaries are seen as people who are worth less than others." Bradford reckons the govt is persuading women to take contraception through sanctions, like having to look for work when the child is one. Seems however the vast majority on a poll see it differently!
Paula Bennett says she's met young women who saw getting pregnant and going on the DPB (domestic purposes benefit) as viable: "29% of those on benefits have had a child while on benefits. That's pretty high numbers. If cost is a barrier, let's help you overcome that cost so you've got choices." A 'dole-bludger' stigma has hung over solo parents for decades - sometimes justified, others not. We've all heard tales of solo mums on the DPB, popping out sprogs every few years, seemingly to ride the gravy train. Yes, a sweeping generalisation - but I suggest one held by many NZers. This offer puts the ambulance at the TOP of the cliff...
Sure, Sue, of course women have the right to control their own reproduction, but having children is a serious responsibility. Free contraception negates the 'I can't afford it coz I'm on the dole' argument. The associated sanctions also mean those who may have seen unplanned breeding as a long-term income source will have to think again. Responsible parents have thought carefully, juggled bills, worked hard, supported families for years. THEY haven't constantly had their hands out for benefits. All power to them!
Maybe 'bludgers' will start to see the writing on the wall...

1 comment:

Leisa said...

Sue Bradford should also concede that it's "unacceptable" for this country to carry the cost of the DPB for years! The fewer bludgers, the less strain on The Budget.
She needs to find another windmill to joust with!