Tuesday, March 06, 2012


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.


Unknown said...

It should probably be made clear that it isn't a woman-hating society. It is women-hating republicans.

Claire M. Johnson said...

Appalling is the appropriate world.

Silliyak said...

I think this is all distraction to keep our attention away from the real issues. Like a magician they have us chasing fantasy issues while .....

J9 said...

Agree with Silliak on this one. While we are incensed and taking action on this - which should not even be up for discussion, there is far too much happening to which we are not paying attention.

Jane Lebak said...

Actually, I don't understand what the problem is. The Catholic Church has a 2000 year tradition against contraception for anyone, including married couples. They're saying they don't want to pay for it in the insurance policies they fund.

What they're not saying:
-ban contraception for everyone
-stop other insurance policies from covering it
-or even oppose other methods of having the government pay for it.

It's not about "sluttiness" because even monogamous married Catholic couples are not supposed to use contraception, and they *do* allow the Pill for medical purposes when necessary.

So what I want to know is why Barack Obama didn't go to the mat about pulling troops out of Iraq immediately or Afghanistan still, why Guantanamo Bay didn't get shut down -- but why Obama picked getting Catholics to pay for contraception as his big issue?

Because seriously, how hard would it have been to push a mandate telling the states to provide free contraception to anyone who qualified? Or putting a check box on the income tax return that said "please check here if you do not have insurance coverage for contraception" (and then sending a sheaf of paperwork so a woman could get it.) Or ordering pharmaceutical companies to provide it for free. Or allowing individuals to purchase rider for their own contraceptive coverage.

I agree with you: it IS ridiculous because the Supreme Court is going to see that conscience protection and freedom of religion are kind of important in the Constitution, and a president who used to teach constitutional law ought to have known that.

Jon said...

It's just one of those wonderful issues that "the man" uses to distract everyone from really important stuff. Not that it's not important, it's just kind of dumb to waste any time with it (like gay marriage).

If they churn up these things lots of potentially harmful opponents will become distracted and spend their time on this, rather than trying to get money out of politics, sending bankers to jail, and stuff like that.

It should be a non-issue, but they wave red flags until they get enough people distracted.

But then, I might just be isgruntled and which I could get paid to have sex!

Silliyak said...

I should add that while I believe distraction is the motive on the political front, selling fear and anger are the motivations of the media, right AND left, so they can increase their revenues. I feel like a tennis ball, or given the contraception issue, perhaps a shuttlecock.

Anonymous said...

@ Jane - I (a left wing liberal), happen to agree on the issue of allowing religious institutions with some level of exemption from paying for items that they have a religious objection to - but I don't think I agree with you on what the Supreme Court will do. See J. Scalia's opinion in EMPLOYMENT DIV., ORE. DEPT. OF HUMAN RES. v. SMITH, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). Further, Title VII, Title IX, the FLSA, OSHA, etc all apply to religious employers when they act outside narrow religious scope. While Title VII does not require the Catholic Church to allow women to be priests, it does prohibit gender based discrimination among lay employees in Catholic institutions that operate in the secular realm (i.e. hospitals), similar to the issue with insurance.

Denise said...

Housewife: well put. Thanks for the post!

To commenter Jane:

That's a great post, and you make a lot of good points. Truly. I'm a member of that 2000 year old religion that refutes the Catholic church's apostolic succession (friendly ribbing!), and I definitely see where you're coming from.

That being said, I will 100% agree with you when churches and religious organizations start paying federal taxes.

- Denise

NonymousGoatsePants said...

No more of those whore pills in Arizona!


Anonymous said...

There are medical implications to this. Even Dentists in Bondi are affected.