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April 9, 2011

SOME THOUGHTS in response to my earlier advice on the Planned Parenthood ad:

One thing that seems odd to me is that if you emphasize the importance of government funding for “women’s health” more generally — with talk about cancer screenings and STDs — then how do you explain the gender bias? Why should we be all fired up about women’s health and not men’s health? Is there a special role of government in taking care of women? Why?

Because women want an Uncle Sugar to take the place of a husband? Meanwhile, does Planned Parenthood provide cancer screenings for men? You’d think I’d know, but I don’t.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Yes, at least at my local office, PP provides testicular/prostate cancer screenings for men, along with STD testing and treatment and vasectomy referrals. Not a clue about their offices in other areas. They also provide adoption referrals around here along with abortion referrals. All the abortion referrals go out of town since our only abortion doctor was murdered by a “pro-life” zealot.

As I also pointed out, women are heavy utilizers of health care throughout life whereas men tend to to be serious avoiders until middle age. Women are more than twice as likely as men to have regular checkups and screenings, even after you factor in the pre-middle-years male avoidance. (I’ve seen this at work in jails as well — the line for sick call for women is always MUCH longer than in the men’s wards.) To some extent the discrepancy is simply that that’s where the big demand is, and to some extent one has to look to the Anglo-American attitude of women and children first. Our welfare systems are certainly geared that way.

It was Nixon, by the way, who first brought federal funding into the PP mix in 1970 with Title X. I think they would survive just fine without Title X, myself. It’s only about a quarter of their federal funding — the rest is earned Medicaid fees for other service provision. If you’re familiar with Medicaid payment schedules, you know they’re not subsidizing abortion mills with Medicaid payments. More likely the other way around.

Meanwhile, reader Patrick Cox notes that women already get 1/3 more health care dollars than men. Clearly we need affirmative action to remedy this disparity.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I’m not the first to note this: “Although women tend to love the notion of government control more than men do, it is women who will be told they’ll have to cut back. On treatments. And years. You know we’ve been taking more than our share.”

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