First it was Rick Santorum supporter Foster Friess reminiscing about the good old days in which the ladyfolk put aspirin between their knees in order to prevent pregnancy.
Then came Rush Limbaugh characterizing Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for having the audacity to want her health insurance to cover contraceptives.
And more recently, Arizona state representative Debbie Lesko sponsored a bill that would allow employers to refuse to cover their employees’ use of birth control that wasn’t intended for medical conditions (other than the prevention of unintended pregnancies).
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me as if the United States has stepped into an alternate reality when it comes to matters of politics and birth control.
Birth control? Controversial? On a national level? Debated about by presidential candidates?
Don’t get me wrong: I know that some birth control medications are not without risks. And even when used properly, none of them are 100% perfect when it comes to preventing pregnancies.
But just because birth control isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that it’s not also an incredible tool that has helped countless women (yours truly included) to exert more control over their reproductive lives.
It doesn’t mean that birth control is not something for which many of us are exceedingly grateful.
I thank birth control for allowing me to choose motherhood.
I thank birth control for allowing me to plan my family.
I thank birth control for helping me not to conceive a baby with that jerk I dated in college.
I thank birth control for helping me not to conceive a baby with the nice guys I dated too: for while they were nice, they weren’t right for me like Tim was, and is.
I thank birth control for relieving the debilitating menstrual cramps I suffered in high school and college.
I thank birth control for preventing me from becoming a single mother: I know lots of single mothers, and I’ve witnessed their incredible strength, and I am not strong enough to be one of them.
I thank birth control for allowing me to act on what I once knew about myself: namely, that I was ready to be sexually active, but I wasn’t yet ready to become a parent.
I thank birth control because it has given generations of women all of this and then some.
So tell me: is it really only a concern about religious freedom that has people up in arms about contraception?
Is it a desire for MORE BABEEEEZ?
Is it a misunderstanding of just how cost prohibitive birth control can be?
Is it a fear of the
possibility LONGTIME REALITY, PEOPLE, IT’S A REALITY that women sometimes like to do things with their vaginas other than having procreative sex and/or birthing babies?
Is it a shadowy, murky, once-thought-dormant brand of misogyny that’s only now materializing in the public forum?
I, for one, wouldn’t be surprised if that very misogyny is now looming over us.
Because make no mistake about it–if it’s an attack on birth control, then it’s also an attack on women.
Why are you thankful for birth control?
*image credit brains the head