Why the Birth Control Arguments are so Ridiculous

First of all, women have had access to birth control for about two generations. For many women, their mothers were born in a world where the pill was a normal part of life!

Now, in 2012, we are suddenly…out of nowhere… going back to arguments we had over 50 years ago.

Margaret Sanger risked imprisonment for violating the Comstock Act, which forbade distribution of birth control information.

So after 50 years of having no issues with the pill, we are suddenly seeing arguments popping up online and on TV about the fact that birth control is a “luxury item”, that “it’s really not that expensive” or that women should just put “a Bayer aspirin between their knees.” In addition to these arguments, some people even dare to use the word “freedom” to explain why women should be denied access to contraceptives, and then say that women who use birth control are just “sluts and prostitutes.”

Contraception changed the lives of millions of women, who could now compete with men in the workplace.

These arguments are ridiculous and play on people’s baser instincts of prejudice and stereotyping – as they clearly don’t make any sense.

Let’s assume that the pill is simply a “luxury item” then what is viagra, sleeping medication, acne medication, anxiety medication and even vaccinations? If this is our concern – insurance companies having to cover luxury items – then why don’t we introduce bills for eliminating all medications that don’t immediately save your life? This assertion is simply an excuse for prejudice and unequal treatment.

And the argument that women should just buy their own birth control because “it’s not that expensive” also drives me crazy. If birth control is really not that expensive, then why not just have the insurance companies pay for it like they already do now? It is clearly not affecting their record profits. Why would we be wasting so much time and political resources to change something so inexpensive and trivial?

Yes – let’s just undo years of progress, so that insurance companies don’t have to pay for something so “cheap” as the pill.   

Again, the arguments we see are simply a guise for oppressing women’s rights – and they make absolutely no sense! The real question is why we are revisiting debates we laid to rest over 50 years ago? We have many current issues to deal with – such as the economy.

About Claire

I grew up in both the Netherlands and the US. When I moved to America at age 10 I was confronted with conflicting social constructs of gender and class. As a student of the social and cognitive sciences, I gained a greater understanding of how human decision-making can lead to unintended system-wide consequences in the interdependent world we live in, especially when you throw stereotyping into the mix. Having struggled as both a poor and female American citizen, I am quite aware of what it means to blame a victim for their circumstances. I feel that I have a voice, and responsibility, to stand up for those who are currently silent.

4 thoughts on “Why the Birth Control Arguments are so Ridiculous

  1. Let’s look at the bright side – we womenfolk who might otherwise disagree politically, will come together to fight for our rights. The climate has shifted so significantly in the last fifty years. Even my BFF, an avowed evangelical Republican, is disgusted by this threat to her reproductive freedom. And I’ve never talked to a married Catholic woman who didn’t admit to using birth control at some point.

  2. This isn’t a regression, it’s a deliberate act. I don’t understand why liberals continue to perceive what are clearly coldly calculated actions to be rooted in stupidity and ignorance rather than malice and sociopathy.

    It’s about getting the many men with (well-deserved) feelings of inchoate rage and insecurity to take it out on women, and not on the people actually responsible for putting them out of work, taking their health care, etc. This type of redirection is a classic technique of psychological warfare.

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