I woke up yesterday morning and all of a sudden it seemed like National Stupid People Day. In addition to people going absolutely nuts in rain-driving department, I heard an infuriating story on NPR about how people are now not only opposed to abortion but to birth control in general. Note: I am not calling these people stupid, but they said things that sounded stupid to me. I heard one female elected politician compare insurance coverage of birth control to covering manicures and pedicures. I heard a male politician voice his opposition to birth control because it 'prevents babies from being born' and defended the provision of Viagra but not birth control by saying that sexual dysfunction is an 'actual medical condition' while people can decide whether to have sex or not.
That's right. I just used the "s" word. That's my first rant. Apparently politicians think that the only purpose of having sex is to make babies... but I bet if you ask marriage counselors/therapists/ANYBODY they would tell you that sex is an important aspect of a relationship that builds and expresses intimacy and affection with your same-or-opposite-sex life partner and within a marriage, it makes that marriage stronger which is what I thought politicians on the same side of these anti-family-planning-nonsense would be in favor of! This is truly hippocracy at its worst (or best).
Also - wrap your mind around this. By covering Viagra but not birth control, I believe these politicians are advocating cheating on your wife. If a man is using Viagra he clearly intends to have sex. But if he does not want that sex to result in a pregnancy, he cannot have sex with his partner. Catch 22.
So here is my ode to birth control. And let me be clear here: I'm mainly talking about the pill, IUDs, that a) women can control, b) have lower failure rates than condoms... but condoms are great too. And I'm not leaving out the men but let's be real here, the burden of all things pregnancy-and-baby-related falls more heavily to the woman.
Birth control, birth control, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You make it so that women/girls who make a perhaps-unwise-and-regrettable choice of having sex with men/boys can avoid a life-course-altering pregnancy and possible abortion. Oh birth control, you realize human dignity and that humans should be able to plan their life. You help those are interested to do so.
Oh birth control, your starring role is helping women plan their lives, live their dreams, and not be subject to unlimited childbearing. But if that is a woman's choice, that's cool too. You help the woman who wants to wait until she's married, or 28, or has a career. You help the family who wants to wait to have a baby until there is money and food to feed the baby and rest of the family without having to rely on government assistance (Pay Attention, oh hypocritical politicians).
Birth control, my ode to thee includes Thanks for for helpings couples be able to space their babies, for you understand that it is often easier and more healthy for everybody if there is some healing time. And thank you for helping these couples decide when enough is enough. And I'm not talking about manicures. I'm talking about babies. For you recognize the wisdom of couples to realize their means and be able to live within them.
Oh birth control, you neither hate babies nor want to destroy them. You love them, and want to help them be born healthy and their parents be happy and healthy too.
Oh manicures and pedicures, how did you get into this conversation? Providing birth control to women is NOTHING like providing manicures and pedicures. That's just plain stupid, so mani/pedis you're officially ejected from this Ode.
UPDATE: You can read the original story here. Sandy Rios is NOT an elected official, but a woman with a stage and conservative opinions who made the mani/pedi comments. Her website is http://www.sandyrios.com. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) made the other lovely comments; you can reach him at http://steveking.house.gov/.