My Extremely Religious Uterus Would Like a Word (Round Two)
After several discussions, including one with my Ethics and Legal Issues professor, and a careful rereading of the majority opinion I have decided to change a few of my statements. While I disagree with where Hobby Lobby has drawn the line as to what is and is not considered ethical, I recognize that they have the right to draw that line where they will. While I still see several problems arising with the precedence set by the court, whether it be me or someone else who has it (as it is very likely taxpayers money will be going to covering what Hobby Lobby will not), I do not necessarily see everything as black and white as prior, and my opinion is still evolving. The fear of the imposition of church on state is a valid one, but the ruling left less doors open than I initially thought. As someone with strong convictions on both the issue of women’s health and religious freedom, this will be something that I will be pondering over for a while.
Until then, I still wish to address the social stigma and hypocrisy associated with men and women’s sexual health care.
This is a revised version of the original article I posted. If someone would like to read my initial post, please contact me.
With the recent comment by a senator after the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case, I am needless to say angry at one more example that the men directing public policy in this country have no more understanding of female sexual health than the 13 year old boy I sat next to in health class who didn’t know “there were three holes down there.” (The comment was made by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) saying women use birth control to protect themselves largely from “recreational behavior.”)
The social stigma with birth control within the conservative community has troubled me for quite a while. Women who are using it because they believe it to be a responsible choice are often called “whores,” and dramatic assumptions are made about the birth control using population. The irony is of course apparent when the men making theses statements are often just as loose in their sexual lives as the women they are accusing, they just don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. However, let’s put aside the issue of morally questionable sex and talk about other problems.
Problem One- There are plenty of reasons outside of wanting to have pre/extramarital sex that a woman could want or need birth control. While the title of the pill makes people think it’s soul purpose is to prevent pregnancy, a basic knowledge of women’s health will tell you otherwise. I am probably Queen of the Virgins, and perfectly content with my choice to not have premarital sex, but I have been on and off birth control all through college. Why? Well, let me explain. For those of you who are unaware, most birth control affects hormones, you know, those things that you say make women unable to make rational decisions. Hormones can affect women in a variety of ways. Here’s a list of some reasons women take birth control:
- Lower ovarian and endometrial cancer risk
- Clearer skin
- Endometrial Pain/Scarring relief
- Lighter and less painful periods
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- PMS Relief
Over 60 percent of women using birth control cite reasons beyond pregnancy prevention for taking the pill.
This of course is ignoring the other major point, which is, what about married women who are not prepared to be having children for whatever reason? While their sex may be “recreational,” by no means should it be thought of as morally reprehensible to take birth control when in a legally binding relationship. If you’re thinking to use the defense “married people should be having sex to have kids” (which is a whole other post on why thinking like that is problematic), think again. You know what I’ve never seen a committee on? Men’s sexual medications. This leads into…
Problem Two – While I have seen countless debates, panels, etc. on women’s reproductive health concerns (which are typically made up of several male senators and priest, of which I’m not sure why they are the prime candidates to be weighing in on the issue), I’ve never once seen one about Viagra or vasectomies. No one cares if a guy goes to pick up an ED medication. These men do not need to prove with whom they having sexual relations. It could be their wife of 30 years, or it could be the neighbors dog walker. They don’t even have to be married, and they can get all the tiny blue pills they want. This also shoots the argument that sex is for making babies in the face, as the majority of men taking ED medication are not doing it for procreative purposes. Most of them are past the point in their lives where they are having children, which of course makes it no surprise that the men passing these laws are making sure to keep in what they need. Now, like birth control, there may be some cases where there is another reason to take Viagra, like hypertension, however there is still no major social stigma with using Viagra. I’ve never once seen a man’s morals called into question because of taking ED medication. Also, male sterilization is clearly done to stop pregnancies. Now, I don’t really care if you need help having sex. I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation. The message being sent is clear: birth control and sex are fine as long as they are on a man’s terms.
Overall, I think people need to get their head’s out of the 1960’s and form more educated opinions on reproductive health, especial when it comes to the policy makers in this country.
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