Contraceptives: not just for “sluts”
These women are not sluts.
Photo from Allianz.com
According to Rush Limbaugh, a woman who advocates for a health care plan that covers contraceptives “essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.” (He’s since apologized, but only after corporate sponsors pulled their ads from his show.)
Not only is such a statement misogynistic and offensive, it’s also extremely ignorant. Contraceptive pills aren’t used just for preventing pregnancy. The pill is basically hormone therapy and is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, e.g. seizures, as was mentioned in the article; severe dysmenorrhea, which is extremely painful and even forces some women to miss work/school during their monthly periods; endometriosis, which untreated can lead to infertility, and that’s just to name a few. Some pills lower the risk of certain diseases, including a number of cancers. Scientists even say that nuns should be on the pill, because women who never bear children are more likely to develop breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer.
Providing women with contraceptive pills isn’t about allowing them to have as much sex as they want (which is entirely their business, by the way). It’s about ensuring the health of the 50% of the population who happen to have ovaries. Our own legislators need to keep that in mind during RH bill debates.
On a related note, “Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now” is a great read. It’s a little shocking to me how controversial birth control still is in the United States. You’d expect it to be hotly debated in the Philippines, but you’d think that in the US it would be a non-issue by by now. A look at the broader historical context makes you realize that “the fight for contraception is not only not over — it hasn’t even really started yet.”