I saw the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Whore of Babylon stampeding down the street last night, and immediately I knew what had happened. (But I did go online to verify.) The Obama administration is giving up their pointless war on over-the-counter emergency contraception. While the pleasure of this announcement was sadly muted because of the ongoing discussion about Obama’s other abuses of basic human privacy rights, I was buoyed right back up again thinking about how conservatives were going to take this. They’re already down on women being able to say no to pregnancy, but they really, really hate it when women say no after a man has ejaculated in her and apparently claimed her body for the forced pregnancy brigade with sperm power. (That many, probably most men do not in any way, shape or form intend for their orgasms to terminate a woman’s right to bodily autonomy doesn’t seem to factor into the outrage levels from the right about post-coitus birth control, so I have to assume they’re speaking up mainly for the mindless desire of sperm to find an egg when they complete their journey to the fallopian tubes.) And yes, the tears of mine enemies are full of salty goodness.
Claiming that it’s for the best to force pregnancy on underage rape victims is a popular one on the right, and as this video shows, it’s rooted in a complete lack of understanding that a young woman is a human being instead of a chastity object to be bragged about and controlled by her father. For if you believe that young women are people whose feelings matter, forcing pregnancy on them after rape is roughly the nastiest, cruelest thing you can imagine, short of having them executed for losing their virginity. (See this story for why.) This is an argument that’s been had a billion times, so no need to repeat it here. I suspect next week’s podcast at RH Reality Check will be full of hysterical right wing meltdowns like this.
This victory has been a long time coming. The Center for Reproductive Rights has a useful timeline of events, but suffice it to say, the battle over making emergency contraception available over the counter started ten years ago. Of all the various ups and downs, I think my “favorite” was when FDA official Janet Woodcock (who sadly still works at the FDA) wrote a memo that was leaked that said, “we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.” So I guess we’ll see if her fears come true, though I’m feeling like she’s going to be sorely disappointed.
And now it’s time to move on to demanding that birth control pills be made available over the counter! And because I know that a bunch of you are about to write a “concerned” comment about this would somehow invalidate insurance coverage without reading the link, I will just quote it so that you can save yourself the time typing:
Most importantly, there’s no reason to believe that women will stop getting regular medical care just because they can buy the pills OTC. Prescription pills will be available without a co-pay for insured women under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations, which will be plenty of encouragement for women to keep in regular contact with their doctors without taking away their right to choose.
Not that I think that will stop you, but I can always hope.