Free the Pill! 

It's highly effective and "safer than aspirin." Selling it over the counter could prevent hundreds of thousands of abortions annually. So why on earth can't women get their birth control without a prescription?

Page 8 of 8

Because even in the 21st century, the sexual double standard is in full effect. You can point to the prevalence of contraceptives and say women are now as libertine as they want to be, but making oral contraceptives legal and available for a price isn't the end of the road. Not by far. There are still enough barriers that three-million-plus women accidentally end up pregnant every year, and that should be impossible to ignore. The burden falls not just upon those three million women, but our health-care system, social service programs, employers, and state and federal budgets -- upon all of us, in other words. "The bottom line is, do we want women to have control over making these private medical decisions so they can fully participate in society?" Taylor-McGhee asks. "Until we get to the point where birth control is deregulated and women don't have to go through these hoops and hurdles, we're still going to be running into issues like, will her provider say no? Will her pharmacy stock it? Can she get it where she needs it and when she needs it? Will she be able to afford it?"

Unless our policymakers remove more of the restrictions governing birth control, there are going to be times when the answer to these questions is no. And the unfairness is apparent as soon as you ponder what would happen if the people being denied birth control were men. Because deep down, a lot of us have a sneaking suspicion that if men could get pregnant, the handling of birth control would be wildly different. If men could get pregnant, birth control would be a right, not a product. It would be federally funded, most likely, if not handed out on the street like Easter candy. If men could get pregnant, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.

Tags: ,

Latest in Feature

Author Archives

  • The Structure Is the Message

    What if cancer is triggered by changes outside the cell?
    • Dec 12, 2007
  • Thinking Outside the Cell

    For decades, the scientific establishment ignored Mina Bissell. Now her insights could revolutionize how cancer is understood and treated.
    • Dec 12, 2007
  • More»

News Blogs

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2021 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation