I am utterly baffled by the fury with which some conservatives are opposing the new requirements that insurance companies cover birth control without a co-pay. 99% of women have used some form of birth control at some point in their lives. On top of that, 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. I mean statistically speaking, it’s pretty clear that this is a good thing.
So what in the world could conservatives have against this? Apparently Bill O’Reilly thinks women only have sex and get pregnant when we’re drunk; “Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex, they’re not going to use birth control anyways.” Ok, so maybe the women willing to have sex with him are generally drunk when doing so, but most of the women I know like having sex while sober too. I’m just saying. Also, being drunk generally won’t impact use of most forms of birth control, because most forms are not used in the moment. Especially the types being covered, which by the way does not include condoms.
Fox News commentator Dana Perino thinks birth control is equivalent to fancy coffee. “If you can afford a $5 Frappuccino at Starbucks, you can pay your $5 co-pay.” Some generic birth control pills might only cost that much, but a lot of women can’t take those. Women at high risk for stroke, women over 35 who smoke, and women who are breastfeeding for example. This means they have to use different types of birth control with a much higher co-pay. Now that we’ve clarified why many women are not paying $5 as a co-pay, the question I’d like answered is why does my fancy coffee habit have anything to do with my reproductive health? I’ll admit it… I love coffee, especially fancy coffee and I do occasionally treat myself to one of those $5 Frappuccinos. As far as I am aware my desire to drink coffee and to not have children at this particular point in time in my life are unrelated, so why should I have to choose between them? The fact that I have that choice puts me way ahead of many other women. See I can afford my fancy coffee drinks, a lot of women can’t. They can’t afford fancy coffee or birth control.
One of the more outrageous claims came from Family PAC Federal vice president Sandy Rios; according to her, all women are now going to go out and have crazy amounts of sex with random strangers. “Why in the world would you encourage your daughters and your granddaughters and whoever else comes behind you to have unrestricted and unlimited sex anytime?” I’m sorry, I missed the part where the sex lives of others are her business. Access to birth control isn’t about morals, it’s about the scientific facts that when women can control when they get pregnant, they have healthier and happier lives.
Oh and let’s not forget that she seems to think women’s physical and mental health is equivalent to manicures and pedicures. She said “We’re $14 trillion dollars in debt and now we’re going to cover birth control, breast pumps, counseling for abuse? Are we going to do manicures and pedicures as well?” The only response I have to that is just wow… I especially like how in this video she later goes on to say she is concerned with the mental health of women being impacted by increased birth control access. Apparently birth control is far more damaging to a woman’s mental health then abuse. Is that hypocritical or what?
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants to be a little more broad ranged in his arguments against it. He is worried because apparently no co-pay birth control will cause an entire generation of Americans to not exist. “If you applied that preventative medicine universally, what you end up with is- you have prevented a generation.” Apparently he doesn’t realize that most women do, at some point in their lives, want children. We aren’t going to wake up the day after this goes into effect and start saying, “Oh yea, the baby factory is closed! Party Time!” We just want to be able to decide when we have children. This will not prevent a generation from being born; it will just allow women to decide when it is right for them to add to their families.
It seems these conservatives are either seriously underestimating women or else they are just out of touch with reality. Either way anti-birth control arguments are completely misguided.