Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Made-up nonsense? Don't think so.

Just read Texas Freedom Network's infuriating 'Quote of the Day':

"Last I checked we don't have a rubber shortage in America. When I was in college we had a machine in the bathroom, you put .50 cents in and voila!" quote from Senator Ted Cruz, when asked in Iowa about 'making contraception available to women who want to control their own bodies.'

Cavalier and craven of Cruz, don't ya think? There is more. Cruz called efforts to cut funding for women's reproductive health and family planning services simply 'made-up nonsense.' I doubt that women trying to get well-woman exams, pre-cancer screenings, contraceptives and yes, perhaps an abortion, would think that their difficulties making appointments and obtaining services are 'made-up nonsense.'

And this is from Reuters.com:
A rapid increase in the number of U.S. women turning to intrauterine devices to prevent pregnancy has prompted escalating attacks on this birth control method from groups that oppose abortion. 

A decade ago, when I began to hear that contraception would soon be under attack, I scoffed. Republican and Democrats supported the use of the pill. It was ubiquitous, a fact of life. Back in 1965, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that the Bill of Rights includes a right to privacy and that the use of birth control was a private and protected state.
In 1967, Time magazine put the pill on its cover, reporting that 'in a mere 6 years it has changed and liberated the sex and family life of a large still growing segment of the U.S. population: eventually, it promises to do the same for much of the world.'

Here are some early statistics on the numbers of American women taking the pill from Jonathan Eig's terrific new book titled The Birth of the Pill:
'In 1961, four hundred thousand women were taking Enovid for birth control. One year later, the number tripled to 1.2 million. By 1965, more than 6.5 million American women were on the pill, making it the most popular form of birth control in the country.'
Seems to me that American women were/and remain eager to take the pill and plan for their education, their work and sex lives, the births of their children. 
More early statistics from Eig's book:
'In 1970, women comprised 10% of first-year law students and 4 % of business school     students. Ten years later, in 1981, numbers jumped to 36% and 28%. Women were more likely to enroll in graduate school and postpone marriage in states that lowered the age of consent for contraception from 21 to 18 years of age. 
'The pill today remains one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the entire world.'

What all of these numbers tell me AGAIN is that the vicious fight in the U.S. against abortion is not in the least about saving the lives of the unborn. This vicious fight now includes the pill and other forms of contraception. So, at last, we see the true agenda.

The true agenda, which is fueled with rage, is to reverse time itself, to return to a time before reliable birth control. The pill, beloved by millions of women, is a threat to those who wish to high heaven that women were 'back in their place.'  
Since the beginning of recorded time, women's roles in society were defined by her reproductive functions. Sex was about having babies. Sex was something men desired. Sex gave women babies to watch over. It was the rare woman who stepped out of the traditional roles of maiden, wife and mother. 
Then, in the seeming blink of an eye, the old world was upended by a pill. For 50 momentous years, women have been able to regulate their own bodies. Thus, creating the battle of all battles. 
Women, for the first time in human history, can shape and control their reproductive lives. And, most women are not likely to wish a return to a world without contraception. What's in it for them, after all, but restrictions and uncertainly?
Back to Senator Ted Cruz. Condoms work, but women do not control condoms. Women control the pill and an IUD and that is what the issue is here. Women control their own bodies and lives and there are plenty of folks who are raging over this relatively new development, though they might not articulate their rage as one of control.
See this vengeful agenda for what it is. Tell our stories to those who have never known life without the pill. Vote for those who support women - that means support for women's reproductive rights. Each and all of those rights.
Condoms won't cut it and lack of access to what is ours by right by law is not 'made-up nonsense.'

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