Friday, February 17, 2012

Who Thinks They're the Landlord of My Vagina This Week?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 7:34 AM

According to a press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus, a bunch of men, a handful of women who don't need birth control anymore, and Douglas "Rape, ladies and gentlemen, is not today what rape was" Henry all think that they need to stick up for the rights of churches to which I don't belong to dictate what happens to my vagina.

Here's the list:


Senators Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), Mike Bell (R-Cleveland), Jim Summerville (R-Dickson), Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), Rebecca Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville), Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), Ken Yager (R-Harriman), Mike Faulk (R-Church Hill), Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), Doug Henry (D-Nashville), Reginald Tate (D-Memphis), and Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson (R-Hixson).

These are the folks who think that birth control, unlike all other medications prescribed by your doctor, is so spooky and weird and vaguely immoral that your employer should be able to financially punish you if you need it and so are pushing a resolution to oppose the birth control mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Let's count kids among the sponsors of Senate Resolution 84:

Gresham—no mention
Tracy—3
Bell—5
Summerville—no mention
Norris—2
Ketron—1
Beavers—2
Duncan Massey—2
Southerland—1
Yager—2
Faulk—2
Johnson—3
Henry—6
Tate—4
Watson—1

Granted, there are many reasons why people who don't practice birth control might end up with small families. But are we supposed to believe that not a single person on that list with three or fewer children ever practiced some form of contraception?

Color me skeptical.

Oh, I know what you're thinking. God, Betsy, it's disgusting that you would look at the size of these people's families and draw judgments about whether they're hypocrites.

Yes, it is disgusting. How many children people have and the circumstances under which they arrive at that family size are no one's business. But if we can agree that it's wrong to speculate on the reasons these politicians have the size families they have, why can't we agree that it's just as wrong enabling employers to sit around and pass moral judgment on the medical needs of their employees?

If you don't want to use birth control, fine. More power to you. But it is a prescription medication that is legal in this country — used not only to control fertility, but also to treat heavy menstrual periods, to relieve the symptoms of various ailments like polycystic ovarian syndrome or fibromyalgia, and as a drug women are often required to take before being prescribed drugs known to cause miscarriages or birth defects. And you can't know why a woman needs birth control just by looking at her and guessing.

And for these busybodies to demand the Obama administration make it easier for other busybodies to keep women from using birth control — and that's what this is about, because the cost of birth control pills unsubsidized by insurance will put it out of the reach of a lot of women — is ridiculous.

Some people want any excuse they can find to poke their noses up under women's skirts and into their business. But they should be embarrassed.

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