I cannot believe that in the year 2012 contraception is controversial and one of the big issues facing America. I was just a baby when the Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut,381 U.S. 479 (1965), forbidding states to outlaw contraception, and now I have to worry about my daughters' access to contraception in an increasingly woman-hating society. It's like science fiction, like Margaret Atwood's dystopian "A Handmaiden's Tale" is coming true.
When I had a horrendously painful ovarian cyst as a teenager, my doctor put me on the pill to prevent further cysts. The pill was expensive, and it was difficult for me to pay for it. I remember one terrible day, where I stood for a long time in a drugstore, shifting from foot to foot, while I pondered whether to get a refill on my prescription or not. I didn't have enough money for both food and my medicine, despite the fact that I had two part-time jobs and an austere student lifestyle (no cable to cancel, no expensive shoes). It was either the pill or being able to eat for the next several days, and that was not a pleasant choice. When I hear a politician condescendingly state that there is no such thing as women who can't afford birth control, my blood pressure skyrockets.
There's a terrible shaming of women who take the pill, who are supposedly sluts and prostitutes. Why does getting a prescription change someone's sexual activities into "prostitution"? A variety of people, most notably Rush Limbaugh and Deborah Heaton, seem to be confused over whether the price of contraception goes up the more often a woman has sex. My theory vis-a-vis Rush is that he, a known Viagra user, is confused by the fact that he himself needs to take more pricy pills the more often he can manage to find a sexual partner. That's not how it works for women, honey. The price is the same, whether the woman has sex even once.
And unlike Viagra, the pill is medically needed for a variety of painful, non-sexual conditions, such as endometriosis, hypermenorrhea, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
I shudder for my daughters and everyone's daughters. How frigging pathetic and immature we are as a country right now, when we can ignore true crises (climate change, the horrendous violence in Syria, etc..) and instead shame women for responsibly taking contraception as directed by their doctors.