Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

BIRTH CONTROL: It’s 21st century, not 1950s

Letter by Alex Markey, Tacoma on March 6, 2012 at 10:02 am with 11 Comments »
March 6, 2012 10:44 am

Behind the recent controversy over whether or not insurance plans must cover birth control, there seems to be a new debate about how women’s sexuality should be expressed in our society.

I can understand the conservative argument that the government should not force any private company to carry a product they disagree with morally. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. However, when public and private figures, including commentators on this site, say things like, “Well if we’re going to fund your birth control, you should have to post online sex videos of yourself” (Rush Limbaugh), or “Here’s a way to control your fertility: Keep your pants on!” (commenter on a recent News Tribune op-ed), it becomes clear that the furor isn’t over birth control so much, but over whether women’s open sexuality is acceptable in our culture.

I find it morally reprehensible that so much abuse should be heaped on women for expressing the sexual aspect of their characters. Considering that philandering men are often seen as “studs” and role model, it is deeply hypocritical to shame women for being themselves.

It is also hypocritical that there is no moral outcry over insurance coverage of Viagra, when erectile dysfunction pills have no medical function other than sexual pleasure, while birth control is used for a variety of medical uses besides preventing pregnancy.

This is the 21st century, not the 1950s. Let’s debate policy without disgraceful “slut-shaming.”

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. aislander says:

    It ain’t about “women’s open sexuality,” it’s about being forced to pay for other people’s stuff. The Founders didn’t create this government to steal from us…

    Contraception is readily and cheaply available. This is a trumped-up, election-year non-controversy–especially if your only point is that a talk-radio guy said some mean stuff about a thirty-year-old woman who (excuse the choice of words) thrust herself into the middle of this flap…

  2. aislander is wrong again because nobody has to pay anything extra for BC insurance coverage. It is a benefit to the insurance companies to provide the coverage for free for the savings they get by not having many more pregnant women or women with other problems that some BC medications help resolve.
    All aislander and others do with their comments is prove that we are still dealing with a lot of folks who favor a patriarchal society from long ago. The “being forced to pay for other people’s stuff” argument is a smokescreen plain and simple.

  3. SandHills says:

    if it is all about sex, then the conservative view may have a point. But it is also about a host of medical issues, particular to women – some as serious as ovarian cysts. The medical cost for contraceptives is way less than medical cost for other forms of treatment, such as surgery. One also has the factor in the cost to these same health care insurance programs if it involves an unwanted pregnancy going to term.

    I seriously doubt the cost out of any taxpayers pocket is any greater than other things we all pay indirectly for. I for one don’t like the cost to me for the gold plated medical coverage for members of congress. I don’t like my car insurance going up because many others are having accidents while texting. I don’t like my home insurance rising because the cost of material to replace my home continues to rise while my home value has gone down. I don’t like all the reasons given why gas is getting to $4 a gallon. All of those issues are costing me much more than women getting contraceptives – which again, might actually have an overall cost savings (even for the non-PC reason that women already on welfare shouldn’t be having more children – sign me up for paying extra for that reason).

    If one looks at this this issue the same way the conservative Pied Piper Rush Limbaugh sees it, well no one would like to “pay” for someone else to have sex. But looking at it with some commonsense….well that is the real problem here isn’t it?

  4. aislander says:

    So…Publico is saying there IS a free lunch! No there’s not…

  5. aislander says:

    …and if the argument is a “smokescreen,” I’m sure Publico would have NO objection to allowing employers, insurance companies, and clients to agree on any sort of coverage they want.

    Not only did the Founders not create this government to steal our money, they didn’t create it to steal our freedom, either…

  6. Aislander
    The major flaw in your argument is that no one is asking for birth control to be free. What the Presidents ordered was that birth control would be covered by healthcare insurance policies, and that those policies that offered drug coverage would off the Pill with nor surcharge or co-pay.

    FYI – the insurance companies are more than happy to provide birth control coverage, and many church owned businesses and organizations already provide such coverage.

    IMO – this whole thing is a right-wing tempest-in-a-tea-cup to fire up the ultra social conservatives and to serve as a smokescreen to hide the GOP’s defective handling of more important issues such as the national debt, jobs, the economy, and taxes.

  7. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Xring- I agree this is a smokescreen. Who brought Ms Fluke to testify?

    This was about church and state, then the left shifted the conversation to women’s healthcare.

    On top of all this it is about more entitlements.

    There is no issue here if we just left things the way they were. BC is very affordable, no matter what your income level. It is either free (if you go through one of the many services available for the poor) or cheap if you just buy it. Insured? Then it is $10 a month.

    The LEFT brought in a professional activist to shift the attention away from BHO, his failed economic and foreign policies.

  8. pantomancer says:

    Has anyone heard from any other religious groups concerning this matter? Islam?

  9. alindasue says:

    aislander said, “It ain’t about “women’s open sexuality,” it’s about being forced to pay for other people’s stuff. The Founders didn’t create this government to steal from us…”

    Is it “stealing from us” when you get your prescriptions filled? For the rest of us, your prescriptions are as much “other people’s stuff” as anyone else’s – no matter what the drugs involved are.

    concernedtacoma7 said, “Xring- I agree this is a smokescreen. Who brought Ms Fluke to testify?”

    Ms. Fluke was there to testify about the non-birth control reasons for the birth control pills. I have a daughter who takes birth control now for no other reason than to regulate her monthly periods, which up until recently would always make her physically ill (severe vomiting) and unable to work.

  10. The TRUTH of The Obama Compromise is this:

    “The new compromise is that religious employers themselves will have no responsibility to either pay for this coverage or to communicate with employees about it; instead, those burdens will shift to insurance companies, at no additional cost to consumers.”


    The spin about what the compromise is NOT has gone into overdrive since February 10th when the above was written.

  11. Pacman33 says:

    The TRUTH of The Obama Compromise is it’s an accounting gimmick or a fig leaf. It’s not a compromise, except to daily beasts(?) and naive, part-time Christians/Catholics that don’t let their faith interfere with the radical leftist political agendas.

    Obama’s “compromise” is a distinction without a difference–an accounting gimmick that will still leave religious institutions footing the bill for services they find morally objectionable. Obama’s “compromise” doesn’t even pretend to provide an out for self-insured religious institutions, which totals about 75% possibly up to 82% of them.

    Putting the obligation on the insurer and not the employer doesn’t help much if they are the same person.


We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0