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Stay Out Of My Uterus

I know that this is not a political blog.  Occasionally, there just happens to be so much going on in the political world that I feel compelled to make a comment or two, especially when the possibility for an impact on our finances exists.  So let’s talk.

Contraceptives.

Man, oh, man what a landmine these days.  Personally, I ever thought that I would see the day when politicians would be engaged in an argument over a woman’s right to access contraceptives, but there they go and here we are.

Are you behind on this subject?  Catch up with the video below:

I want to say that I understand the point of view of the (mostly) men who are against big government, but who somehow think that they have a right to tell me what should happen in my uterus.  I can agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion and their own religious beliefs, but when opinions and beliefs are combined with the probability that the individual will enact laws that will marginalize one half of the population, I am rightly alarmed.

I don’t hear anyone debating a man’s right for access to Viagra or Cialiss.  What I do hear are politicians essentially saying that women should not have a voice in their own healthcare and with what should happen to and within their own bodies.  I thought that I lived in the U.S., not Afghanistan.

I’ve sort of covered this topic in a side-stepped way before.  I argued that you should not have kids if you couldn’t afford them.  That goes for both men and women since most births for women under thirty now occur outside the confines of marriage.  We’re not talking about just the 16 and Pregnant age group here.  And yes, Virginia, all of those babies can and will negatively impact our finances.  The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has an entire white paper on “how marriage affects the economic well-being of families with children.”  I’ll cut to the chase for you.  On average, single parent households have more financial challenges than families with two adults.  There’s no surprise there.

Politicians are telling us, as if we are non-thinking sheeple, to go head and have as many kids as you can, because God would provide.  But don’t you dare think about using social programs to fall back on when you can’t feed your kids because the U.S. is not a welfare state.

Does anyone else see what’s wrong with this?

The first consequence of low access to birth control is a higher birth rate, especially amongst women living in lower socioeconomic circumstances.  They are the same women who are more likely than not to end up needing help from a government sponsored program, but then we go ahead and yank those programs out from under them as well.  I’ve heard stories about people stealing food to feed their kids.  Do you have compassion for these people, or should they all be put behind bars? How desperate would you be if your kids were hungry and you could not provide for them?

We should also expect higher instances in terminations of pregnancy, even while state governments fight to limit access to those procedures.  Through a combination of factors, abortion rates have been falling since the 1990’s – from a rate of 27.4 abortions for every 1,000 pregnancies in 1990 to a rate of 19.5 for every 1,000 pregnancies in 2007.  Those statistics come directly from the Census  Bureau.

Whatever side of that debate that you land on, I bet that we can all agree that an even lower abortion rate would be great for everyone.  The way to stop that is to begin by education teenagers and young people about their bodies early, and including ways in which pregnancy can be prevented.  It’s not from teaching an abstinence only agenda or by telling women to “hold an aspirin between their knees” in order to prevent pregnancy.

Finally, how many children will end up in the foster care children and become wards of the state?  Don’t argue that these babies will all get adopted, because if that were the case, we would not have a need for the foster care system, nor would we have children spending their entire lives bouncing from one foster home to another.  How willing are you to adopt a five year old minority child? That’s not the picture of the cute, one month old, blond haired and blue-eyed child that people spend years on waiting lists hoping for a chance to adopt. Those children exist right now, and they are languishing.

Now that you’re caught up, what do you think?  Should a politician’s own religious affect the way in which they vote, especially when they are intensely debating taking away access to medication that many women consider to be a basic human right?  More pointedly, should a politician have a right to take up residence in my uterus and tell me what I can and can not do there?

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27 thoughts on “Stay Out Of My Uterus

  • “I want to say that I understand the point of view of the (mostly) men who are against big government, but who somehow think that they have a right to tell me what should happen in my uterus.”

    That is why conservatism is (mostly) bullshit. They expand the government just as much as anyone else, but they also intrude into personal liberty. I no longer believe in a left-right dichotomy and the only escape I see is out, toward personal liberty and a society based on voluntary relationships. I don’t seek to control anyone else, nor do I want to be controlled.

  • Hi Sandy
    In the UK all contraception is free unless you choose to pay (convenience of a pharmacy instead of clinic) so I find myself quite shocked by this, especially when you know that whatever happens the one group that will never help or take care of you will be the state/government. Shocking
    Lizzie

  • Sandy I am with you 100%. This is total bull sh*t. I actually have a site about contraceptives so of course I would say that :).

  • I find it interesting that the title of this post is “Stay Out of my Uterus” when in fact, you want the government to be heavily involved in your uterus by subsidizing medicine that affects your uterus.

    If you really wanted the government out of your uterus, you would let companies pick what kind of health insurance they want to offer their employees without government mandates.

    A woman who works for a Catholic hospital still has access to birth control if her company doesn’t include it in her health insurance. She just needs to find her own health insurance or buy it at full price.

    • The only hospital in our town is a Catholic hospital. It’s the only hospital within 60 miles. It doesn’t leave many options for women in our area. It’s their way or nothing. The closest Planned Parenthood is also over a one hour drive. Yes, ‘some’ Catholic hospital offer contraception but not all.

    • I didn’t argue any points against Catholic hospitals or for the government subsidizing birth control. Those are two different debates. What I am against re the hearings and essential witch hunts against contraceptives as a whole that took place last week. I’ve gotta find the video. C-Span here I come!

      • I think you make a good point, Sandy. A lot of the anger comes from the hypocrisy. Would we even be having a discussion about how ED drugs might be used by men to have sex outside the confines of marriage? The problem I have is that birth control is seen strictly as a “choice” and a lot of the time is not even considered a women’s health issue. It’s seen as a religious and political issue. And, of course, the anger comes in when, for some unfathomable reason, women aren’t allowed to participate in issues that affect their own health. At the same time, ED is seen as a “medical” or “health” issue. It’s a medical issue for men to have control over an erection, but it’s not a health issue for women to decide whether or not they want another entity growing inside of their bodies.

    • The same could be said about a myriad of medications, from ED drugs to allergy meds to just about anything. Find your own health insurance or pay full price. I am fortunate because I can afford to pay full price for the birth control method of my choice that my INDIVIDUAL health insurance (since I am self-employed) doesn’t provide, and isn’t required to cover by my state. I can afford to pay $85 a month for my birth control. Many of the women affected by something that could pretty much take birth control completely out of health insurance altogether are those who cannot afford to just walk out and buy birth control at full price. Additionally, as pointed out by Molly, some women live in areas where their choices are limited. The result would likely be MORE expenses for everyone else in the long-run, since a large portion of women use birth control at some point in their lives. More babies, more need for social support, including emergency room and Medicaid births for those who can’t afford anything else. Because no matter how much some people would like to make everyone who can’t afford children to stop having sex, practically speaking it’s not going to happen.

      And that doesn’t even begin to cover women who take birth control for medical reasons, including ovarian cysts and other issues. 58% of women who use birth control use it for reasons beyond just family planning, and use it for the alleviation of women’s health issues.

  • Well said! At the end of the day, all the political and moral arguments just shouldn’t matter. This is about a woman’s RIGHT to choose what is best for her own body. No uterus, no opinion.

    I’m from Canada where birth control has been readily available (I think most free clinics sell it for something like $10 for those who don’t have drug coverage) for decades. I, too, find it terrifying that this sort of debate is going on in the States.

  • I’ve been steaming over this for weeks. Women’s voices were excluded from last week’s opening panel of a hearing on the birth control coverage requirement. The anti-birth control lawmakers who ran the hearing refused to hear from Sandra Fluke, a young woman who wanted to speak about the importance of birth control for women’s health. They said she “wasn’t qualified” to testify. In fact, they said that women’s stories about how birth control affects their lives aren’t relevant to the debate. The panel was all men. Not that I don’t love men and feel they should be included in the conversation I cannot see why women were excluded!

  • I find it almost comical – and at the same time – very sad that we are still talking about birth control and abortion, with the same arguments from 50 years ago – in the United States of America, of all places in the world. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    What’s more hilarious is that old, white, men think they can take it upon themselves to make decisions for women and their body. If the reason for sex is only to pro-create, then surely, there is no reason for Viagara, because those men are past their prime, and obviously there is no reason for them to be having sex.

  • Thank you Fabulously Frugirl, I was thinking the same thing why is this even an issue nowadays. Everything about the whole argument is backwards and antiquated. No one seems to base their platforms on reality anymore. What happened to America being progressive? It’s a shame.

  • Hear Hear! I absolutely support birth control for all who want it. My philosophy is that people should have access to birth control or abortions should they feel that their life requires them. And if you don’t feel that you need these, fine. Don’t use/get them. But don’t stop others from accessing those things that they need.

    As to the financial point here, birth control pills were a benchmark of the women’s lib movement. BC pills allowed women to hold down jobs for entire years at a time and not have to be constantly out for maternity leave. Women are able to work outside the home and also be married/having sex. That means that we no longer actually have to choose between a love life and a career.

    Same for the dishwasher and laundry machine. Had these not been invented women would still be spending dozens more hours a week trapped at home cleaning. But thanks to these inventions we are able to work outside of the home and still keep it clean.

    Since no one is trying to bar access to dishwashers or make them so exorbinantly expensive that people are unable to access them, why not make it the same for birth control?

    Yeah, I understand they aren’t the same thing, but you get my point 🙂

  • I don’t really understand it at all. Especially the “small government” people.

    So a little tidbit. I was in the Navy in the 90’s. Newsflash: birth control pills were free!! So this “we don’t want to pay for it” thing only applies in certain situations. I mean, I do understand the conservatives’ point about paying for your own BC. But it’s a matter of it being a drug and a copay. Many of the maintenance drugs I’ve been on have had a copay. Birth control, allergy meds. To have people CHOOSE for me is the problem.

    It doesn’t help that abortion is under attack and all of these issues get lumped under one big umbrella. That issue is CERTAINLY “stay out of my uterus”.

    I have neighbors who adopted a 2 year old minority child from foster care. That is not the norm, however. The problem with foster care is that the ultimate goal is to reunite children with their families, regardless of how screwed up they’ve made them. So many children in foster care or available for adoption have been through so much and have so many issues. And it takes a truly special and experienced family to deal with that.

  • Surprisingly (to me) I came here to say just what Zanne above me said – I live in Mississippi and it just makes me want to relocate when I consider what my state is trying to dictate about my body.

    I love this post – point well made.

  • Hard to imagine imposing one’s views on another to the point of impacting their right to control their own body. Limiting options or availability of options can effectively do that. Besides, this isn’t 1962, it’s 2012.

  • Like Jon Stewart pointed out, Cialis and Viagra are covered by insurance, yet it’s a debate whether the Pill should be readily available? The hypocrisy scares the living daylights out of me!

    Not only that, but contraceptives can be wonderful tools for controlling PMS symptoms. Until some man goes through the crazy health issues that I do every month (when not pregnant…), he can argue all he wants with my uterus. It’s still gonna say, “Poop on you. I’m in control of this woman’s body!”

  • I personally think Republicans AND Democrats are full of crap. Without getting into what I believe regarding abortion though, or even contraception, I think the country has far more serious problems going on right now to spend a week on something like contraception.

    I actually agree with Kevin @ Thousandaire.com but I think Molly brings up a good point. Molly (honest question), is there NO OTHER way to get contraception in your town? Is the hospital the only place where it is available?

    All said and done I don’t think we should be forcing religious anything to be providing something that they feel goes against their beliefs. Nor should we, since this is America, have instances where someone who needs it or wants it can’t get it reasonably easy.

    Instead of having a week long debate on contraception we should be having a debate about why government spends and wastes so much money, can’t balance a budget, continues to put us more in debt, and work on finding solutions to creating jobs to get people back to work.

    Having the federal government decide something like this — for either side of the debate — is nonsense. The government is too big already and it seems people of both sides want the government to stay out of something on one issue but demand they be involved on others.

    I think there should be consistency across the board as far as what role the federal government plays in our lives. The problem is that partisan politics and being married to a political party seems to determine when they should and shouldn’t be involved on a number of issues. You can’t have it one way on some things and another way on others.

    Both parties are hypocrites in that regard, and so are the American people who vote for these bozos election after election.

    • Here’s the thing. We are looking at this as a political argument. The government isn’t paying or anything. These are your employer’s health plans. Believe it or not, your company already pays for lots of things that it doesn’t want to under its healthcare plans. Your coworker with cancer? Your wife and kids? All of those things fall into those categories.

      The problem is that birth control and these hormones fall into the same category as other medication, since, believe it or not, these hormones are used for things in addition to preventing pregnancy. They treat everything from ovarian cysts to PMDD. The same way in which Viagra wasn’t originally intended to treat men with erectile dysfunction but for those with vascular problems.

      Employers get to choose their health plans and coverage amounts based on how medication is classified and a host of other factors, which is set by the government. Hormonal contraceptives are just that – medication. If we changed the name to Estrogen and Progestin I wonder if the debate would be the same. As an employer, you don’t get to choose what works for you and what doesn’t. If these employers were Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, Scientologist, Jehovah’s Witness or a host of other religions with religious edicts that would exclude a ton of medical procedures from blood transfusions to any prescription medication at all, then employers would cover nothing at all.

      You would never know, from one employer to another whether your condition would be covered. I can imagine the nightmare it would pose for employees. But then again, should employers be responsible for providing healthcare coverage at all?

      • I just don’t think the government should mandate or force insurance companies or employers to cover and pay for what the government thinks they should.

        A private company should have the right to run it’s business how it sees fit but I agree with you that even if insurance companies didn’t cover the entire cost they should cover something if it’s considered a medical need.

        There are some things that insurance companies should cover and don’t. My only problem is that I can’t see how not having contraception is seen as a health risk if insurance companies don’t cover it. Unless we’re talking about STD’s in this debate, getting pregnant isn’t really a health risk. Is it?

        Now I have to admit that there may be things here that I may not be aware of. Some of the things you mention above may very well be something that fits that description. I’m certainly no expert. LOL

        With Obamacare isn’t government more and more involved in health care than they should be? I hear people all the time say that the government should force this and that on insurance companies and employers. I don’t think an employer should be forced to provide health care if they choose not to. Government mandated contraception is not something the Government should be getting involved in. Again, in my humble opinion. 😀

      • Brad, pregnancy is a huge health risk … go to the Mayo or some equally respected medical website to read about the risks to both the mother and the fetus.

        From what I’ve read, the religious hierarchy in the Catholic church – the men at the top – wish to keep females who are employed at Catholic universities and hospitals from easy access to contraception because it’s against the Catholic religion. I believe that amounts to workplace discrimination in that as an employee you are expected to forego medical needs because of your employer’s religious objections. Does that really make sense to you?

        Molly’s example is one of many where the major employer happens to be headed by a religious entity. Letting an insurance “mandate” what will and won’t be covered is simply letting the foxes watch over the chicken coop.

  • Without birth control women have no protection
    From others who give lip service to
    Having their best intrest at heart

  • I’m always surprised to hear when males can enact laws on what females can do with their own body.

    It’s kinda like the poor voting to raise taxes on the rich, without having to pay more taxes themselves. Whatcha think?

  • If it’s not too late to jump into this debate…the answer is glaringly obvious and simple therefore it will never be discussed or considered.

    **Separate insurance coverage from employment**

    You’re welcome 🙂

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