Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shame on you

I am truly baffled by women that take time and energy to speak out against a contraception mandate and the woman that was brave enough to speak in favor of it.

A contraception mandate helps to empower women to make their own choices rather than interfering with their rights.  Lacking adequate contraception coverage, sometimes a woman’s choice is made for her.

When I was 20 years old, I was living with my then boyfriend (now husband of 11 years) with no immediate plans for marriage or children.  My insurance covered birth control, and I took it.  I didn’t know myself well enough back then to know that a daily pill was not going to cut it for me; I just couldn’t remember to take it.  My intentions were good, but, due to my absentminded forgetfulness (and maybe a little nudge from God, because who knows, really?), I found myself pregnant at age 20. 

We’ve always told him that he was a happy surprise, not an accident.  The truth is, though, that he was the result of either divine intervention or his mother’s inability to remember to pop a pill combined with his father’s extreme dislike of other prophylactics. 

After he was born, I decided I wasn’t going to have another baby right away.  I certainly wasn’t going to rely on pills again, though.  As a young newlywed, I wasn’t going to practice abstinence, either.  So, there had to be a better solution.  I decided on an IUD, but my insurance didn’t cover it.  It was $600 for the device.  Pills were about $30 per month or $360 per year.  The IUD was $600 but was good for 5 years, so it was about $50 per year.  It didn’t make sense that they wouldn’t cover it.  It was cheaper than pills!  It was more effective, statistically, than pills or condoms!  And certainly it was much cheaper than what the insurance company would pay out in health care costs for another birth resulting in a failed attempt at birth control. 

If I couldn’t pony up the $600, though, I would have to rely on less successful methods of birth control.  Reproductive freedom doesn’t exist if your choices are being controlled, or even influenced by, your health insurance company.

Luckily, we found a way to make it work.  Sadly, not everyone can scrape together the necessary funds, and what may seem like nothing to one family can be too big of a burden to bear for another.
I wanted contraceptive coverage that fit my needs to be covered by my health insurance company.  Based on Rush Limbaugh’s logic, that made me a slut.  Right?  I wanted to be paid to have sex with my husband.  Does this truly make sense to anyone??

The second part that makes no sense to me is that by all accounts this Fluke woman was testifying to the importance of private plans covering contraception, not taxpayers.  But… enter the conservative spin-doctors; they know you’ll get more upset about this issue if it’s about taxpayer money, so off they go with rants about tax money paying for sex, about having rights to the videos of that sex because they’re funding it…

How disgusting. 

Ladies… seriously? 

You put the red the Kool-Aid down for a moment, and yes, I’ll put the blue Kool-Aid down, and lets forget about conservatives and liberals.  Lets take a moment to be women that have our own best interests at heart. 

Be a college student with PCOS that needs birth control pills to help with your condition…

Be a young mother that has a right to be intimate with your husband without making a baby every time…

Be a cancer survivor that understands the importance of reproductive freedom on a larger scale; after all, you had to make the hardest choice of all.  When an unexpected post-cancer pregnancy threatened to take you away from your young children, you exercised your right to choose, and you chose life.   Yours.  Thank God for that, and thank God there are people out there standing up for that right, even as others wrap themselves in the flag, hold up the Bible, and denounce women that exercise their right to choose.
Be Sandra Fluke…  a law student and women's rights activist who, for five years, worked for a nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence, a woman who co-founded an organization that successfully advocated for legislation that helps unmarried victims of domestic violence get protection from their abusers, a woman who has been a member of numerous New York City and State coalitions that successfully advocated for policy improvements impacting victims of domestic violence, a woman who continues to work on issues that involve domestic violence and also human trafficking.

All I’m saying is… Stand up with women and say this is not okay.  I don’t care who you vote for or what your religion is.  Calling a woman that is standing up for women everywhere a slut is not okay.  Defending the misogynistic asshats that perpetuate the subjugation of women by denigrating us with these vile messages of hate is not okay. 

Shame on you.  


  1. I love you dearly, but do you know how much time this stuff takes you away from the important things in life? Really. I don't think this woman is a saint. She was planted at that podium for a reason. Do you really think this woman can't afford birth control. The school she goes to is one the more expensive schools in the country. I love being a woman as much as the next person, but come on. When I made my choices I don't think I went up on a podium and asked the taxpayers to pay for it.

    1. Respectfully, "Anonymous", you completely miss the point. Are you a saint? I doubt it. Is Sandra Fluke's ability to pay for birth control really the issue at hand? Have you ever done something for the greater good because you knew it was the RIGHT thing to do or do you just sit back and watch humanity, but not participate in it? And, give me a break about her attendance at Georgetown University--have you ever heard of scholarships to expensive schools??

      This is not about Sandra Fluke or her ability to pay for birth control or her desire to have access to affordable birth control or even some pathetic excuse of a man like Rush Limbaugh calling her a slut and prostitute.

      This is about women. WOMEN. This is about women's choices being taken away from them. This is about women being subjugated and about women having their decisions made for them and women's rights being thrown back a hundred years. This is about a woman's right to make ANY choice for herself. Don't be distracted by the "sexiness" of the birth control issue--this is so much more than that. And as a woman, it's a crying shame that you don't realize that.

    2. First of all... Writing this took so much less time than I see people spending on posting never-ending links to conservative propaganda articles all day long. Secondly, taxpayers already pay for contraception through Medicaid. The issue here is PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES, yes, including the churches, covering contraception. Private. Not public. Not taxpayer money.

  2. I don't think it's women speaking out against contraception, it's not the issue. The issue is the government forcing people to do things.
    Obviously, I'm not against contraception, I LOVE my iud, but...
    Isn't this what Planned Parenthood is for? Family Planning? Otherwise they are just an abortion clinic.
    I get the idea that birth control will save ins co money since it's cheaper than a baby. BUT people still get pregnant on birthcontrol. So should we mandate that ins co pay for free abortions. Those are cheaper than babies too.

    Just my stand on this issue.

    1. Christy,

      The answer to your question is yes, since it's cheaper than a baby. If you support contraception; which I do; then it's down to a financial decision. It's cheaper for me, so yes.

      Access to Planned Parenthood is endangered in this country because of idiots and organized religion.

      It's cheaper....and it's the right thing to do.

    2. Christy, my point was not about what side of the issue we fall on but about choosing to defend Rush's vileness simply because he's a "conservative." Do you agree with his repetitive use of the word "slut" toward this woman (among other things)? It's about respect and dignity for women, about being a woman, not just a republican or democrat... It's not okay to equate women that want birth control coverage with prostitutes. Unless you're comfortable with that label. I'm just not.

  3. Thank you for your wise words.

    Since you were little you've had a way of connecting with people. Along with that, your thirst for knowledge was/is insatiable. As of late I’ve seen the teacher in you emerge.

    I see this site as a forum for the expression of who you are, what stirs your soul, your outlet to express the joy and sorrows of being human as you experience it.

    I, for one, LOVE the way, through your writing, you keep it real here, often exposing your soft underbelly for scrutiny. So many on this journey choose to omit that by which we’ve learned.

    Now I am in no way suggesting that you are perfect, and yet I see you striving forward, perfectly.

  4. Wow. That made me a little teary. I am humbled by your kind words. Thank you.