Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ready to Spit Nails

I don't usually get political here, but I read something yesterday that so infuriated me that I have no choice but to react verbally.

There are new proposed amendments to health care reform that include covering the cost of women's health care, including birth control without co-pay, counseling about sexually transmitted diseases, screenings for HIV, screenings for cervical cancer, abuse counseling, etc. Of course this has become a bi-partisan issue, as liberals and conservatives cannot agree on anything involving how much involvement government has in the way women use their bodies. There are, of course, much greater implications here, since we are dealing with the prevention of diseases and of unwanted pregnancies.

The way that conservative commentator Sandy Rios went off about this reform recently, comparing the coverage of women's preventative and follow-up care to covering manicures made me want to literally beat some sense into her. And by the way, I could get 5 manicures for the cost of one pack of my OCPs (clearly not the point, but I could go off about this for hours.) Also, my nail salon has never offered me counseling of any kind. I have caught athlete's foot from the pedicure baths though, so maybe they should be more aware of disease prevention.

She also asserted that women should not have the option of consequence-free sex, the way that men do. You know, because we are an inferior, weaker sex and all. It's much better to encourage your daughters and granddaughters to have teenage pregnancies and rely on you to raise the children they don't yet have the independence, financial stability, maturity, or wisdom to raise themselves, than to encourage them to simply be responsible for themselves by having safe sex should they choose to have it. No, wait, that's completely reversed from logic.

But Sandy wasn't the only one to react in completely offensive and derogatory ways. Congressman Steve King also decided to speak in gross exaggeration with inflammatory remarks about how providing free birth control targeted the poor, and if the poor no longer reproduced at their current rate, they would cease to exist. In fact, if people didn't have any unplanned pregnancies, the human race would die out! You know, because over-population isn't a problem for us. And being poor is a genetic condition passed down to children like hair color. I'm sure poor families who had less children wouldn't have a greater opportunity to pay off their debts and actually make their way out of poverty. The world is not at a loss for people struggling from economic burdens, nor is the US. The lower class will not simply die out because they are provided options. Way to write a horror story, Steve King.
You'll notice the only issue these people are pouncing on is that of access to safe sex options. They are condemning a much larger package (one that notably includes disease prevention information and screening, and help with dealing with domestic abuse or rape) because their moral compasses expect all unmarried women to abstain from sex, period. Nevermind the reality of the situation, nor the fact that not everyone can be expected to have the same set of values. In a study conducted in 2008, 36% of women aged 20–44 are single, and nine in 10 single women are sexually experienced. Obviously these numbers are changing all the time, but generally speaking, about 90% of unmarried adult women are sexually active, and therefore ought to have easy access to birth control and information about safe sexual practices. Again, these are women over 20 years old, not teenagers. They have every right to choose how they want to use their bodies and how they want to live their lives. And considering how much more controversial the issue of abortion is, denying women the option of birth control, or the morning-after pill should something go wrong, is condemning them to have to make a much more difficult decision.

No comments:

Post a Comment