Sandra Fluke and All This Entitlement Bullshit
Truth: Sandra Fluke and I and a lot of other women want birth control to be covered by health insurance (the same way Viagra is).
Why is this so hard to understand?
I’m in a long-term relationship (i.e., living in sin), but for the sake of argument, let’s say I’m married. And let’s pretend I still have a uterus. And let’s imagine that my husband has an erectile dysfunction issue, or just likes the way Viagra keeps him standing tall, I don’t know, but his doctor prescribes it and insurance covers it. And let’s say I don’t want to get pregnant right now because I’m in my late 40s and it’s just not a good idea at my age. It might actually be bad for me or the baby. But I want to have sex. I want to have a loving sexual relationship with my husband without getting pregnant. And he’s got this raging Viagra boner, after all.
So, here’s my question:
Why should my husband’s desire for an erection trump my desire to PROTECT MY BODY from an unwanted pregnancy when it comes to health insurance coverage?
It’s just not that complicated, people. It’s about health. It’s about the individual responsibility conservatives claim to value so highly. It’s about our bodies and our right to choose when and whether to carry a child within them.
Tell your friends.
A number of critics here and elsewhere have argued that my logic is flawed for a number of reasons. That may well be true, but not for the reasons they state, I don’t think. I’m going to address those now.
Argument: Viagra is used to treat medical conditions unrelated to sex.
Have you watched Ms. Fluke’s testimony? Two-thirds of it is about women with serious reproductive health issues who rely on birth control medication to treat them and the consequences when they don’t get their medication because the insurance they pay for (unsubsidized by their college) won’t cover it.
Argument: Viagra is not covered by most health insurance programs.
I don’t have numbers for the country at large, but I did find this story which speaks directly to the issue of Viagra vs. birth control and the Catholic church, which as commenter Craig pointed out below was behind the original thrust of Ms. Fluke’s campaign. (Pun intended.)
Argument: Viagra is way more expensive than birth control.
Maybe that’s so, but as commenter Mike pointed out, “birth control is far less expensive to the medical system than pregnancy and childbirth.” Not really a black-and-white thing.
Argument: The choice to have sex without becoming pregnant is not a health issue.
Ok, here’s where we’re going to have words. Let’s talk a bit about pregnancy and childbirth, shall we? I’ll just give you a quick rundown based on experience and let the readers chime in on anything I might have missed.
1. Oh, hey, I’m pregnant! I wake up every morning and vomit my guts out while diarrhea sprays out the other end with every heave. I can’t eat until after 4pm or more vomiting and stuff!
2. Check it out: my ankles are swelling, and if I’m not careful, I could develop preeclampsia and toxemia or a blood clot and die!
3. Lucky me! Pregnancy carries the risk that I might develop gestational diabetes which will increase my risk of developing regular diabetes later in life! And there are lots of other things that can go wrong in my body as well. (Good thing I’m not over 35*, or there would be even more things to worry about, and a higher risk of them happening!)
4. Oh, great, there’s this thing called toxoplasmosis I can get from my cat. It can kill me. Whoopee!
And that’s not even going into just how uncomfortable–and even painful–pregnancy can be. For nine months of your life. But I survived it! Now it’s time to deliver.
1. OHMYFUCKINGGOD THE PAIN.
2. There are so many things that could go wrong, and I could die, but I’m in good hands and I’m not thinking about that because THE PAIN THE FUCKING PAIN OH GOD.
3. My water won’t break on its own. The doc has to reach his hand up inside my vagina and prick the membrane, at which time the water WHOOSHES out and the pain…oh, I only thought it hurt before. I’m so fucking scared. I want to go home. As they wheel me down the hall from labor to delivery, I piss myself.
4. My vagina isn’t quite big enough for the baby to pass without the delicate skin between my vagina and anus ripping as it is doing now, so the doctor uses a scalpel to slice that skin open and increase the size of my vaginal opening. There is blood. Lots and lots of blood. And then, my daughter is born.
What part of this does not sound like a health issue to you? What part of this does not sound like something a person should be able to CHOOSE?
That’s all I’ve got for now. Love ya.
*I’m over 35 now, but I wasn’t when I was pregnant. ;)
Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.