A comment. A question. A serious meditation.

Interestingly, most of my male friends have suggested that the issue addressed in this loose blog post are being presented by the media as diversionary tactics. To say so minimizes the importance of the issue. If it comes to forefront over and over again (for at least 100 years) then it's likely not solved satisfactorily and deserves more comprehensive consideration. Can this topic share headlines and national attention with other major issues? Are we as a people capable of maintaining only one argument at a time? Let us beat our drums and wave our flags for all of the issues. The issue of reproductive rights and responsibility is one that I'm passionately invested in, that is not to say I'm not interested in other issues of national and international concern, it is a set of issues in which my voice is more qualified than on other issues.

I do not understand, seriously, I don't get how we can live in a world in which some degree of feminism is present in every aspect of our modern lives, including the lives of the very conservative and yet be faced with this sexist backlash against women. Here I've addressed availability of birth control and briefly touched on onus, not losing ones job for getting birth control, losing ones job for being pregnant, or maternity leave, or lactating, abortion, or the tras-vaginal ultrasound, the purpose of ultrasound imaging or personhood. Simply, access to reliable preventative medicine and the pre-existing condition of being female. 

If the taxpayers won't pay for birth control, how will all of the women in the military receiving provisional medical benefits maintain their agreements to not get pregnant? Lady vets know what I mean. Single and/or married, we all signed agreements when assigned to certain kinds of duty stating that we wouldn't get pregnant. Even if family planning is removed from her military medical benefits, and she's required to pay out of pocket, her paycheck is comprised of taxpayers dollars. Paradox.

If taxpayers won't pay for birth control then does the US pull out of the World Health Organization's efforts to provide reproductive health services to 2nd and 3rd world countries? (Where on first glance it looks like they may have better access to reproductive health care than we do.)

My imagination has presented me with the idea that the Conservative Right opposed to supporting reproductive health as a component universal health care probably make charitable donations to organizations that provide reproductive health care to developing countries.

Planned Parenthood doesn't give away birth control for free, one does still have to pay for it, it is on a sliding scale $15-$50 a month.

I'm no insurance specialist, but every insurance plan I've had doesn't fully cover prescriptions, there is still a co-pay of some kind, if any co-pay at all. When I have been unemployed and or uninsured, I have paid full price for all of my own medical services and prescriptions.

To pay for birth control out of pocket is around $30-80 a month. That's double what it cost in 2007 - a federal law changed (part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005) causing pharmaceutical companies to stop providing deep discounts (to university clinics as well as county and city health clinics) for contraception. For the under insured, uninsured, unemployed and underemployed $15 (subsidized)-$80 (unsubsidized) a month for a single prescription is a lot of money. If minimum wage doesn't pay for ones apartment, then minimum wage with no benefits isn't going to cover prescriptions out of pocket either.

The logic I keep reading that is opposed to government subsidized birth control is false and myopic. I suspect that these opinions and social critiques parrot the language of the conservative news front. A shallow internet search will uncover solid economic support for the long term social benefits of subsidized reproductive health provisions -- the same provisions we as a country contribute to developing countries.

In regards to gender bias in insurance coverage.

The National Women's Law Center has recently published a report that outlines insurance discrimination against women.  What follows is my initial knee jerk reaction to what I read in the report, joined together with my knee jerk reaction to the Conservative Right's religious imposition of reproductive health policies proposed for the United States: 

The universal You wants the universal Us to make Your families but won't contribute to the expense of doing so? If all the onus of baby making is on Us then why the hell should we even consider doing this for You? Want the babies or not?

If the baby/family making is to be seen as a 'gift', quoting the words of someone in another discussion on the same topic, "a gift from god", then women are responsible for gifts of god? Women are a channel for god? If we operate in a gift economy then gifts of people? Commodifying people? The woman as bearer of gift or the gift of the new person? Both? 

Wouldn't you want to pamper the living shit out of someone who is channeling gifts from god? 

Will the religious organizations of the community pick up the tab where 'taxpayers' aren't? Are women solely (souly) responsible for all that is associated with chartering gifts of god into the world? What of the sperm provider? Is he void of responsibility even of the request to bear gifts of god are channeled through his desires and actions?

Straight Shooter Q breaks it down, maybe a little too far: Women are expected to pay more physically and monetarily for the privilege of delivering souls into the world? I think god or those acting on it's behalf could stand to kick down a little something in exchange.  

However; I don't have a relationship with Your god - does that mean, Your god has raped me, forcing me to deliver it's gifts to the world? I don't have a relationship with Your god, I don't know Your god at all, as far as I'm concerned Your god is a fictitious character in a book. You honestly want me to respond to a fictitious literary character? 

Heathen? Yes, so what? I'm still a person, and I've taken myself out of the conversation of making babies, but that doesn't make me any less a person -- in fact I'd like to see it as leveling myself with men but sadly that's not how it works, it has just made me barren and less valuable as a person according to the non-heathens.  

If I'm reading the insurance discrimination thing correctly then the insurance is charging single women more? Women who are head of households?  Women with better jobs than their mates? Does the insurance industry provide reasonable insurance plans to men with reproductive wives or does it charge him more when he adds a woman to his plan? What about when his more expensive reproductive partner produces a female child, is the female child more expensive than a male child? How far does this discrimination extend? 

If anybody knows me at all they know that I'm unfit to parent a cat or house plants let alone children. I've made all of the choices one can make about reproducing short of having three kids. I've participated in many types of birth control and family planning including abstinence, relinquishing a child to adoption, at least four types of contraception, termination (pregnant resulting from rape), celibacy and ultimately sterilization. I am pro-choice, and my choice is to not accidentally make babies. I do not care, as it is none of my business what other people choose - choose life, choose choice, choose abortion, choose preventative medicine - it's a choice and I support it. I'll support it with my tax dollars and I'll support it with direct dollars and I'll support it through my actions in any and every way possible to maintain the ability to choose for myself and to create an opportunity to enable all women to make their own choices. A person's body is their own to govern. 


  1. Q,

    Every time you write something like this I am just awed. Of course, I liked the bike pieces, but they also make me sad that those days are gone for me. I have mentioned before that I think your writing is well done, informative, are things that need to be said more often. I suspect that writing is not your top interest in life, but just want to tell you again that I really like your thinking.

  2. Thank you. Writing has always been my first choice, but I've been told I couldn't do it, so I don't claim to be able to and I don't know that I do it well enough to consider placing it higher in my skill-sets than other things.


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