My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Women's Reproductive Rights

I'm feeling rather "bloggy" this morning which means that I have a dozen different potential blog entries bouncing around in my head... which means that I may write several things today... or I may just get this one issue off my chest and go on about my day.

This whole Rush Limbaugh/Women's Rights/Republicans "banning birth control" issue really hacks me off. There is not a single candidate running for the Republican nomination that wants to do anything even remotely close to banning birth control. I'm not sure - other than Rick Santorum - that there's anyone running who is even pro-life. It's ridiculous that it's been twisted that way. This is not a contraception issue, it's a religious freedom issue.

Frankly, I don't care who uses birth control... that's between you and God, and (I would hope) your monogamous partner. I don't care who uses it - I just care who pays for it. If the company you work for provides health insurance that covers it - great. If you don't work and are... say... a student... and have an income that doesn't allow for you to afford the cost of contraception, march your fertile self down to the nearest Planned Parenthood center - which receives way too much government funding, in my opinion... and snag all the free condoms your heart desires. You can even go to your local health department and receive "reproductive care" on a sliding scale based on your income. Trust me on this.

All these Obamacare mandates that force companies - organizations - whomever - to include free birth control as part of their health insurance package are RIDICULOUS. I'm using that word again, emphatically, because this is a perfect example of the liberal media twisting something around in a way that makes no sense if you stop and think about it. Birth control, either pre or post conception, is already readily available to anyone and everyone who wants to use it. Forcing an organization like, for instance, a Catholic school, to pay for something that goes against the very foundation of their beliefs is a travesty... and, I'm afraid, just the tip of the iceberg with this "we'll have to pass the bill and then read it" Obamacare farce. We don't need to have Senate hearings about it with some poor, pitiful law student whining about what it costs her to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

I've listened to Rush Limbaugh for about twenty years. I catch bits and pieces of his show off and on, and I read the transcripts for what I've missed, some of the time. He's controversial and intentionally provocative and I don't always agree with him but he articulates things in a way that make politics (which, believe it or not, I despise) more appetizing for me. I heard part of his discussion about this birth control thing and I've heard this issue replayed ten different ways on the various news outlets since then. For the most point, people are twisting what he said. He said that the cost of condoms was roughly $1 a piece on amazon and if it cost this lady $1000 a year to have protected sex, it would mean that she was having sex, on average, three times a day. That's where the slut comment came into play. I know... she could choose other methods that would cost more or less than that and wouldn't depend on the frequency of her activities... but for me, as a young fertile woman, my contraception choices were based on my spiritual beliefs and my budget. I had to use what I could afford. Why should it be different for anyone else?

He over dramatized his point, to be certain. I don't like name calling, I think it's misplaced. HOWEVER... can we travel back in our time machine and look at the things that Liberal pundits and media called Sarah Palin AND HER CHILDREN??? Sarah was referred to by that "see you next Tuesday" word that is - on the sliding scale of things you don't say about a woman - much worse, at least in my opinion. Not only did they go after Bristol (who was 18 and knocked up and therefore, apparently, fair game) but they also said nasty things about the younger girls and that, to me, is much, much worse. SO... build a bridge and get over it.

And here's the thing that really gets in my craw... I'm not going to get all Church Lady judgmental about pre-marital sex... what people do with their bodies is their business... but why should we be forced to supplement the costs of allowing Miss Sexually Active Law Student (or anyone) to partake in that activity... and yet there are no government mandated provisions to pay for the things that allow me to enjoy the pleasure of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Or, more literally, to be a contributing member of society? My insurance COVERS the medications that allow me to function but I still have a co-pay and out of pocket expense. I still have to PAY for my insurance. There's no Planned Chronic Back Pain center where I can go and load up on free neurontin. Every time I go to the Pain Clinic it's $100, minimum. I pay that. Myself. Out of my pitifully small budget. Without holding Senate hearings about how sad and unfair it is.

Here's my reality: as a responsible citizen, I enjoy my freedom to live my life the way I please within the boundaries of how it impacts others. For instance... I love showtunes... I love singing along to showtunes... loudly... and usually, really, really off key... I gain much enjoyment from singing along to my showtunes... however... I don't have the right to throw open my windows and sing loudly (and poorly) to the extent that it disturbs my neighbors. I don't ask for a government supplement that forces other tax payers, my employer or the productions that I enjoy to provide my cds free of charge to me.

I'll close with a funny story so that you don't think I'm a raving lunatic on a soapbox. My friend Joy's daughter Jessie had the traditional "health" class about sex/birth control/etc that most middle school students are subjected to. Being the responsible parent, at the end of that school day, Joy opened up a dialogue with Jessie about the class and what she learned. Jessie described the different kinds of birth control they had taught them about and then paused... and said that she had made a decision about which one she wanted to use because it was the ONE THING they told them was ONE HUNDRED percent effective, all of the time so she wanted to LOAD UP on it. The only problem was that Jessie wasn't exactly sure what it was. Joy asked... "do you remember what it was called?" Jessie said... "abstinence".

That's all I'm saying.