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.