Monday, September 24, 2012

Keep Your Hands Off My Birth Control

The last few weeks before a national election truly leads some people to leap off that deep end.  Watching television is like listening to three wigged-out crack addicts discussing the best method of making chicken pot pie.  Each of them has an opinion about it, each has repeated their version of the recipe until only key words are spit out (BROTH, PEAS, CELERY SEED), and none of them will deviate one whit from his or her postulates on chicken pot pie.

Phrases are repeated so often (intentionally so) that explanation is not needed:  47%, re-distribution, Bain, fair share, empty chair, words repeated until they push those emotional buttons.  One of those buttons that is pushed as often as is humanly possible is the phrase "reproductive rights".

In the Facebook world, I have many friends, a pleasant mixture of young people and retirees, old high school friends and college students that I knew when I worked at Virginia Highlands.  I find it interesting in a droll sort of way that the people on Facebook who are the most twisted up about reproductive rights are the white-haired women who haven't worried about reproduction in years.  Not just on Facebook, but everywhere that women are given a voice, the white-hairs are the ones who keep re-focusing the topic back to reproductive rights, long after they should have set other priorities in their lives.

Sandra Fluke testifies to Congress
about her hardship in obtaining
birth control.
These thoughts were brought to a head this morning when I received a political advertisement in the mail.  Beside a picture of a young woman is the statement:  "It's my decision.  Politicians and my employer should keep their hands off my birth control."  The statement is attributed to Sonya Breehey of Falls Church, Virginia.  And you know what?  I agree with Ms. Breehey.  I absolutely, flat-out believe that the government should stay out of the bedroom.  Ms. Breehey should make decisions about birth control, make arrangements to get it, and then pay for it herself.  Leave me and the government out of it.

I'm flabbergasted that women of any age would welcome the government subsidization of their sexual lives.  As of this very second, I've not read or seen any reports of women who have been denied birth control or even an abortion.  All of these services are legal in this country.  No one will tell you to go to the rear of the building so that they can slip a pack of contraband birth control pills to you out of the sight of government agents.  Access to birth control and abortions is provided to all women without regard to race or socio-economic status.  Women can stop screaming that their reproductive rights are endangered.

Not to say that I have never worried about these things.  When Larry and I were first married, our income was extremely limited.  One of the ways that we managed our money was to write down in a notebook every last cent that we spent.  On February 4, 1973, we paid $3 for 9 1/2 gallons of gas.  Really.  I'm not kidding.  And $1.35 for cat food.  On March 5 I spent 82 cents on barrettes.  June 3 was a big day:  $2.50 for Colonel Sanders, train ride for $1.00, and a watermelon for $1.80.  I have no idea where we were, but it sounds like we had a good time.

Our resources at that time were so restricted, and yet, once a month there was a payment to Super-X Drug Store for our birth control.  You see, we paid for our own even though we didn't have much money.  It never occurred to me that the expense should be paid by someone else, whether it was the government or anyone else.

Nancy Pelosi, proponent of
government intervention in
reproductive rights.
How ironic that any woman would insist that the government stay out of her birth control, while asking the same government to pay for it.  I learned a long time ago that I'd rather have less that I earned myself than have someone provide for me.  There is always a price to pay; if you take the money, you submit to the strings that are attached, and before you know it, you have no choice but to be tied up in the strings because you can't survive without the money.    

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