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49 Responses

  1. Amber
    Amber March 16, 2006 at 4:24 pm |

    Exactly. If men could get pregnant, there would be no question about the availability of contraception. It would be as easy to buy as condoms (!). It’s so glaringly obvious.

  2. Starla
    Starla March 16, 2006 at 4:26 pm |

    Well heck, you might as well have stores stop stocking baby supplies too, because you know, that promotes having babies which obviously promotes sex/promiscuity.

  3. Kelley
    Kelley March 16, 2006 at 4:52 pm |

    Unbelievable. The stupidity of it all makes my head spin. Of course, these morons are counting on the apathy of the general public to allow them to get away with this shit. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why the general populace is not up in arms about this, demanding that every single idiot who sponsored and/or voted for this bill be removed from office.

    Implosion, anyone?

  4. Lauren
    Lauren March 16, 2006 at 4:56 pm |

    Fuck it. Might as well get rid of women since women make babies, too.

  5. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus March 16, 2006 at 5:10 pm |

    This is beside the point, I know, but it apparently hasn’t occurred to these folks that it’s not just single women who take oral contraceptives.

  6. becky
    becky March 16, 2006 at 5:21 pm |

    Linnaeus: Exactly! I loved that the discussion went from birth control to the problem of single women’s promiscuity. I was blogging about this article this morning, and was asking where the “single men” come into the picture of promiscuity (but men can’t be promiscuous, I suppose, since women are clearly tempting them into sexual relations). And there’s no discussion of what happens to poor women who go home to their partner/husband and try to explain that they can’t have sex because of a lack of reliable birth control. So either they must spend limited resources on birth control, or (more likely, in my opinion) use less reliable methods that result in unplanned pregnancies for that segment of the population that is least able to financially support seeking out an abortion or carrying the pregnancy to term.

    This reminded me of an earlier title, was it by Jill? The headline for which was: “Your Priorities Are Showing.”

    At the end of the news story, the Missouri Catholic Conference then gets quoted, and goes on record as saying that they object to taxpayer money being spent on contraception. I was wondering why they aren’t worried about taxpayer money going toward misguided wars.

  7. Julie
    Julie March 16, 2006 at 5:27 pm |

    Ugh… sometimes I hate people. Really hate them. First, I could care less whether you’re single or married, people will have sex, so let’s deal with reality. Second, most married women I know use birth control (myself included and I’m even doing my duty to repopulate the earth…. but after three pregnancies in three years, my poor body needs a break) so their theory is stupid anyway. And third, these are the same people who want to talk about the immorality of abortion, but yet apparently would rather not prevent them sensibly. Yeah, I’m oh so excited about the future my two year old daughter has to look forward to. Sigh.

  8. Andrew
    Andrew March 16, 2006 at 5:35 pm |

    Why is it the government’s responsibility to provide contraception? If feminists think that all poor women should have free contraception, then you should start a charity for that purpose.

  9. Thomas
    Thomas March 16, 2006 at 6:29 pm |

    Andrew, are you saying you favor more unwanted pregnancy among people who lack the means to purchase contraception at market prices? Or are you making an empirical claim that poor people who cannot afford contraception will in fact stop having penis-vagina intercourse? Or do you reflexively support any policy that lowers immediate government expenditure on poor people, even if it raises long-run social costs?

  10. Scorpio
    Scorpio March 16, 2006 at 7:28 pm |

    Well, that one won’t last in office.

  11. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought March 16, 2006 at 7:39 pm |

    Natural Family Planning, or the Sympto-Thermal method, is the natural method of spacing births approved by the Catholic Church. The great thing is – once trained, its essentially free. And most trainers teach for free. They can’t even get space to teach it or money for the books.

    And the Catholic Church *is* worried about misguided wars. Please pay attention to what they say about things other than sex; you’ll be surprised (pleasantly).

  12. nerdlet
    nerdlet March 16, 2006 at 8:10 pm |

    “Well heck, you might as well have stores stop stocking baby supplies too, because you know, that promotes having babies which obviously promotes sex/promiscuity.”

    And providing painkillers during birth to single women, or, heck, letting any of them give birth in hospitals or with the help of midwives.

  13. becky
    becky March 16, 2006 at 8:31 pm |

    # Deep Thought Says:
    March 16th, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    Natural Family Planning, or the Sympto-Thermal method, is the natural method of spacing births approved by the Catholic Church. The great thing is – once trained, its essentially free. And most trainers teach for free. They can’t even get space to teach it or money for the books.

    And the Catholic Church *is* worried about misguided wars. Please pay attention to what they say about things other than sex; you’ll be surprised (pleasantly).

    Are you seriously suggesting that women use NFP? Otherwise known as the rhythm method? Do you realize how ineffective this method is? It’s got a failure rate of 25% last I checked (compare that to what, 1% for the pill?) For those of us who don’t plan on starting a family anytime soon, and would like said family to be carefully planned around work/family/educational commitments, the rhythm method is about the most outlandish suggestion out there. Poor women shouldn’t have to resort to unreliable methods of preventing pregnancy simply because some lawmakers’ religions have anachronistic concepts of family planning.

    And on my comment about the Missouri Catholic Conference’s stance on taxes going to support contraception: I was questioning the logic behind this statement, as I haven’t yet seen comparable statements about the Iraq war. I was further questioning why the Catholic church feels so much more invested in making policy decisions for non-Catholic citizens than in using that airtime to protest much more blame worthy problems around the globe. I also found it curious that this organization was even brought into the decision (at least within the news article)– why should the Catholic church have an influence on governmental decisions about health care?

  14. Anne
    Anne March 16, 2006 at 8:56 pm |

    This is beside the point, I know, but it apparently hasn’t occurred to these folks that it’s not just single women who take oral contraceptives.

    Hell, it hasn’t occurred to these folks that some women take contraception because it’s the only effective way to control extremely heavy, long-lasting bleeding, or the pains of endometriosis. Not that they’d care if they DID know (unless it was someone they knew personally, who “deserves” good medical care, unlike some random sluts). Punishment of Eve, and all that.

  15. Lauren
    Lauren March 16, 2006 at 8:59 pm |

    Same logic they use to ban the HPV vaccine.

  16. becky
    becky March 16, 2006 at 9:00 pm |

    There’s a reason they call it “Vatican Roulette.”

    Ha! I’d never heard that before — I love it!

  17. Andrew
    Andrew March 16, 2006 at 9:16 pm |

    Andrew, are you saying you favor more unwanted pregnancy among people who lack the means to purchase contraception at market prices?

    No, I don’t favor unwanted pregnancies among the poor, I just don’t think the government should be buying them contraceptives (or any form of birth control). It’s basically encouraging them to have sex.

    Or are you making an empirical claim that poor people who cannot afford contraception will in fact stop having penis-vagina intercourse?

    I know they won’t stop having sex, but if they do it’s their reponsibility to deal with the consequences of their actions, not the government’s or society’s.

    Or do you reflexively support any policy that lowers immediate government expenditure on poor people, even if it raises long-run social costs?

    I support any policy that lowers government spending in any area, whether it’s the elimination of funding to provide poor women with contraceptives, an end to corporate subsidies, or a reduction in the “defense” budget.

  18. r4d20
    r4d20 March 16, 2006 at 9:34 pm |

    Not Everyone who is antiabortino feels like this. Sadly the extremists have plenty of influence, but its factually wrong and counter-productive to over generalize about that “THEY” want

  19. Slim Slow Slider
    Slim Slow Slider March 16, 2006 at 9:39 pm |

    aarrggh, I’m SOOOOO with Anne on that!!! Having taken it for the past, oh, eight years or so, I shudder to think of how hideous that particular week of the month used to be. But then, women’s welfare completely has no part in this proposal by this crazy batshit wacko Phillips or whatever her name is.
    I find it harder to believe every day how the female politicians you have in the States can be so ignorant and uncompassionate to their fellow female citizens. Perhaps they’re some kind of windup fembots created by their male colleagues to spout nonsense that THEY woul prefer females to say? I mean, really.

  20. kate
    kate March 16, 2006 at 10:09 pm |

    They just keep going, just keep going until we’re all mandated to come home at seven pm and stay indoors, not finish school after the eighth grade and produce a proscribed number of children before our 35th birthday. I can see it happening.

    Or a revolution of some kind. These dorks seem to figure they have hit a vein of gold in the current political climate and are mining it for all its worth. All the work that will have to be done to reverse this shit is mindboggling and i don’t feel too hopeful.

    Where is a refuge? Is there any safe place on this planet for a women to exist in peace?

  21. Caja
    Caja March 16, 2006 at 10:09 pm |

    Natural Family Planning (also called the Fertility Awareness Method) is NOT the rhythm method. You have to keep track of your menstrual cycle, take your basal temperature every morning (so you know when you have ovulated), and check your cervical mucus, which changes its texture as you near ovulation. From what I remember, the rhythm method is just avoiding intercourse for like the middle week of your cycle, and has nothing to do with figuring out when you, personally, are fertile.

    Once you know when _your_ fertile period is – and it can take several cycles before you get a good handle on that, even for women with normal, regular cycles – you can avoid PIV sex during that stretch of time (or use condoms or something) if you don’t want to get pregnant. If anyone is interested in learning more about it, I highly recommend Toni Weschler’s _Taking Charge of Your Fertility_, if for no other reason that to get a better understanding of how the female reproductive system works.

    It’s also a much better way to figure out when your period is going to start, cause the length of time between ovulation and menstruation varies very little for each woman, whereas the length of time between menstruation and the next ovulation can vary much more, depending on stress and all that.

  22. Marith
    Marith March 16, 2006 at 10:18 pm |

    Andrew, why is it it the government’s responsibility to do anything for its citizens? Why provide a police force? Why write any legislation? Why provide regulation of medicine? Or schools? Because IT’S FOR THE COMMON GOOD.

    I don’t understand how there are still people stupid enough to be confused about why less unwanted children, less unhappy mothers and fathers, less dysfunctional families, less demand on resources of all kinds would be a desirable state. This kind of malicious shit DOES NOT just effect a single woman/family.

  23. becky
    becky March 16, 2006 at 10:41 pm |

    Sorry about not being more specific, Caja — I tend to lump them all together. I started looking into natural methods after I began to worry about the effects of the hormonal birth control pills (turns out, I’m still of an age to need them for controling acne though — eek). Then I had a talk with my gynecologist, looked at effectiveness rates and the time commitments involved, and decided that, if I really wanted to finish graduate school AND have a sexual life with my partner, I would need to be on some form of very reliable and always effective birth control.

    I hope that some pharmaceutical company actually steps up and develops a male birth control pill. I have a feeling that it would immediately be covered by insurance plans and government subsidized health care programs.

  24. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought March 16, 2006 at 11:22 pm |

    becky,
    My wife is a biologist – she is tired of hearing OB/GYNs tell people that NFP has a failure rate of anywhere from 20% to 80%. Its just not true. If you follow the method, its about as effective as condoms. If you combine it with artificial birth control, it can actually surpass the Pill in effectiveness.

    Most OBs are, well, just like you. They assume its just the rhythm method and write it off. And the time requirements are minimal. 1 minute a morning, charting for 1 minute sometime during the day.

    I have some friends (who prefer to be called Howling Atheist Liberals); she doesn’t tolerate the pill, he’s allergic to latex. They have been using NFP (taught at a Catholic Church in the Village) for about 9 years with no “issue”.

  25. becky
    becky March 16, 2006 at 11:37 pm |

    Deep Thought:

    That’s wonderful that some people are able to practice NPR with great success. But considering that in practice women have difficulty even taking a pill once a day (which takes what, 2 seconds?) I’m not surprised that most OB/GYNs are “realists” like me — they can see NPR falling apart for many women with pushy partners, forgetful memories, etc. I fail to see how you imagine NPR being the “answer” to the government turning a blind eye to working class people’s needs for reliable birth control. Look at any effectiveness rates: in practice, NPR is much less reliable than other methods. Further, this should be a choice that women make with their partners and doctors, not a decision that is made for them by slashes in government funding for basic family planning services.

    Personally, this method just wouldn’t work for me. I’m in a long distance relationship, and I know that with my luck, I’d always be at the wrong point in the cycle. And I just don’t want to have my romantic life be determined by the time of the month (I don’t trust condoms much more than NPR, as you might imagine).

  26. becky
    becky March 16, 2006 at 11:42 pm |

    Oops, should be NFP, not NPR (that’s what I’ve been listening to!)

  27. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus March 17, 2006 at 1:21 am |

    Hell, it hasn’t occurred to these folks that some women take contraception because it’s the only effective way to control extremely heavy, long-lasting bleeding, or the pains of endometriosis.

    Oh, certainly, Anne. Just ask my ex-girlfriend; avoiding pregnancy was just one of several reasons she took contraceptives.

  28. mythago
    mythago March 17, 2006 at 2:24 am |

    Don’t think they haven’t thought of that.

    That’s totally untrue, zuzu. Who’ll do all the housework if there aren’t women?

  29. Robert
    Robert March 17, 2006 at 2:25 am |

    Mexicans!

  30. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought March 17, 2006 at 5:13 am |

    becky,
    Sure, sure – just like ‘in the field’ condoms have a 20% failure rate and the pill has a 17% failure rate, etc.

    Isn’t it odd – the only sure-fire way to avoid pregnancy seems to be ….

  31. Sarah
    Sarah March 17, 2006 at 7:05 am |

    There is a lot of misinformation about natural methods, and they can be good and effective and must be very useful if you can’t or don’t want to use a hormaonal method – but as has already been pointed out they are not suitable for everyone. They do not make it ok for hormonal contraception to be restricted and not made freely available for women who need it or want it.

    Since when does using hormonal contraception mean you’re promiscuous anyway? I would think it was something much more likely to be used by women in a long term relationship, whether married or not, where you can have some confidence about the disease status of your partner. If you’re truly promiscuous and have multiple casual partners, you’re a lot better off using condoms instead (or as well).

    Not that ‘promiscuity’ should be seen as a bad thing of course, certainly not if it involves adults who are taking care to protect themselves and their partners.

  32. Chet
    Chet March 17, 2006 at 9:58 am |

    Isn’t it odd – the only sure-fire way to avoid pregnancy seems to be ….

    Abstinence? “Sure-fire” in what sense? All the abstaining in the world doesn’t stop you from being raped.

    And, of course, we have to calculate the failure rate with the inclusion, not the exclusion, of the people who claim to abstain but fail to put that into practice – just like we include the people who use condoms but use them incorrectly, or take the pill but forget to take it sometimes.

    Under that situation abstinence isn’t any more effective than using nothing at all; in other words, over 60 out of 100 women will become pregnant within a year.

    Ditto about NFP. Asking women to accurately gauge the viscosity of their vaginal mucus is not a form of birth control that would represent a realistic solution for the majority of women.

  33. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 10:04 am |

    Mexicans!

    Why someone wouldn’t consider this safe space, I can’t possibly imagine…Not funny, Robert.

  34. Caja
    Caja March 17, 2006 at 10:48 am |

    I charted my cycle using NFP for several years, although for many of those years, I was trying to get pregnant. But I don’t trust myself to do it rigorously enough to avoid pregnancy, and certainly there are other methods that are less easy to botch. Since I am now in an avoiding pregnancy mode, I am using an IUD. And if other methods are available and can work for a woman, I would recommend those instead.

    It just really pisses me off that even this method, one that the Catholic church approves of, is considered too objectionable to fund by those assholes in Missouri. It’s bad enough that they don’t want to provide contraception, but to not even want to teach women how their bodies work?!? And of course they clearly don’t care about those who need hormones to control other problems, not just to prevent pregnancy.

    At least some of them are completely upfront that it isn’t about preventing “abortions” caused by birth control pills, it’s just about sending the “no sex for unmarried women” message. I’m all about seeing them admit their real agenda.

    In a slight bit of good news, at least here in Colorado, a bill is going forward, again, to give pharmacists the ability to prescribe EC without a woman having to go to a doctor first. The governor has vetoed similar bills in the past, but it would nice if it gets through this time.

  35. Balanced News Blog  » Blog Archive   » Missouri Rejects Spending for Birth Control

    […] amounted to an endorsement of promiscuous lifestyles. Missouri stopped providing money for family planning and certain women’s health services […]

  36. Niles
    Niles March 17, 2006 at 2:01 pm |

    The only thing that will stop the backlash wave of prudish ‘morality’, is visible, protesting presence in public venues and voting booths. ‘Viable outside the womb’ (maybe there’s an acronym in there, like VOW) humans upset with dictates enabling disenfranchisement of women need to pile up at the doors of the elected reps (Or, the acclaimed reps as some have proven to be).

    On a slightly more personal note, is there anyone out there of procreating female status, not in a long term relationship, who would truly trust a man who told her, “We don’t need a condom, baby. I’m on the pill.” How many men trying to get out of childcare payments have complained about the flip side of that? It’s a nice idea, I’m just cynical about human behaviour.

    Although it does raise a question. If a male ‘pill’ is successfully developed, would it be illegal as well, or, since men can’t be promiscuous, would it be legal while women’s contraceptives are banned from funding/sales/distribution. Are penile condoms being lined up in the official weasel words yet? Or, because they need to be used by men, are they considered ok? What about vaginal condoms?

    It’s just turtles all the way down…

  37. Marian
    Marian March 17, 2006 at 2:22 pm |

    I charted my cycle using NFP for several years, although for many of those years, I was trying to get pregnant. But I don’t trust myself to do it rigorously enough to avoid pregnancy, and certainly there are other methods that are less easy to botch. Since I am now in an avoiding pregnancy mode, I am using an IUD. And if other methods are available and can work for a woman, I would recommend those instead.

    Or when you’re super-susceptible to stress the way I am. I am generally fairly regular, but my system shuts off for virtually every reason possible–plane travel, exam stress, emotional or job instability, even the Blackout of 2003 shut me down for a bit, and only because I didn’t eat or sleep right for 24 hours only. That’s nothing, but it still affected me!

    If I were using NFP, I’d probably end up either pregnant or having to abstain for the next couple of months. The reason is that my trip to India caused me to go without good sleep on the plane and adjust to a new environment, and thus miss March. If things don’t turn around by April, it’ll be back to Provera again just to jumpstart it.

    But if Provera, related to the Pill, is considered “an abortion,” and someone doesn’t want to give it to me, AND my only option is NFP or nothing at all, I’d be in trouble.

    Anti-contraception folks I have brought this up to claim it is no excuse; that you can still tell when you’re fertile. Then why do I apparently ovulate 3 times when under stress, but no period? I even heard one argument that a woman “prayerful” enough will stay regular. *eyeroll*

    Man, some days I question whether I’m even still a conservative!! (Hi Jill!) :-)

  38. F-Words
    F-Words March 17, 2006 at 2:40 pm |

    The Roe Effect vs. the Ho Effect

    …those who voted against funding contraception for low-income women are quite literally breeding more votes against themselves. I like to call it the “ho effect.”

  39. Kyra
    Kyra March 17, 2006 at 3:13 pm |

    Natural Family Planning, or the Sympto-Thermal method, is the natural method of spacing births approved by the Catholic Church. The great thing is – once trained, its essentially free.

    It’s not free. It requires you to abstian from sex for several days out of the month, or use condoms (which, last I checked, were not free), and takes some calculating and measuring and thinking, much more than is required to remember a pill every day (which, I’m not sure how people forget, if you can just take it in the morning when you brush your teeth or something. Plus, I’d always be wondering whether NFP worked or not. It’s very much not free.

    Isn’t it odd – the only sure-fire way to avoid pregnancy seems to be ….

    A hysterectomy.

  40. Kyra
    Kyra March 17, 2006 at 3:13 pm |

    I find myself hoping some other pro-lifer accuses this nut of trying to increase business for the “abortion industry.”

  41. prefer not to say
    prefer not to say March 17, 2006 at 3:38 pm |

    Time out for the misplaced modifier police:

    “If you hand out contraception to single women, we’re saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that,”

    Bad grammar rarely produces good policy. “Promiscuity is ok as a state”? What does that even MEAN???

  42. Robert
    Robert March 17, 2006 at 3:41 pm |

    “as a state, we’re saying promiscuity is OK”

  43. prefer not to say
    prefer not to say March 17, 2006 at 3:46 pm |

    Ah, my friend — but it doesn’t MEAN that, because if it did, “as a state” would have come immediately before or after “we’re saying” — which it does not.

    This isn’t a comment about the state of Missouri. It’s a comment about the state of promiscuity. Somebody tell Betsy Ross to bust out another star.

  44. Robert
    Robert March 17, 2006 at 3:49 pm |

    Yes, Prefer. The woman used bad grammar in a verbal statement.

    I’ll alert the media. You prepare the concentration camp.

  45. Julie
    Julie March 17, 2006 at 5:14 pm |

    NFP can wonderful for many, many people. However, it is extremely unreliable for people who have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), asks people to refrain from sex when they desire it the most (i.e. when a woman is most fertile) and does require a good memory (when we were trying to conceive and temping/charting, I can’t tell you how many mornings I got out of bed and realized I had forgotten my temperature whereas I took the pill for three years without issue). Also, you have to do it for a few months before you can do any sort of real NFP, because you don’t detect ovulation until three days of raised temperatures are observed, which happens as you are ovulating. By the time you detect it, it’s already over. Without a baseline, it’s much harder to do. I have no problem teaching and encouraging women to try it, but it does take a lot of time and commitment and I think it’s far from realistic to expect everyone to do it. Especially if you are working varied shifts, that can throw off your temperature readings as well.
    I know for myself, I am extremely regular and the month I conceived my son (we were trying, so I was charting) I had what looked like an ovulation jump and I actually ended up ovulating ten days later. I didn’t realize it until I had a consistent pattern of three raised temperatures. I had all the symptoms the first time, but my temp jump was much more pronounced the second time. The ovulation/conception date was also verified by ultrasound. Had I been trying to prevent pregnancy, I would have been very comfortable having sex that weekend, thinking I had already ovulated, when in fact I hadn’t and I would be expecting an unplanned and perhaps unwanted child instead of the very much wanted little boy I am carrying now.

  46. Kyra
    Kyra March 20, 2006 at 9:14 pm |

    “If you hand out contraception to single women, we’re saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that,”

    No, dummy dummy dummy.

    You’re saying “promiscuous sex that doesn’t cause lots of abortions is better than promiscuous sex that does cause a lot of abortions.” In any case, you have no business, as a state, saying promiscuity is not OK. My faith says it’s fine as long as its consensual and safe and otherwise unharmful. Hers presumeably says something different, and she’s welcome to abide by it, but she has no business using it to try to blackmail people into abstinence with the threat of unwanted pregnancies.

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