side bar
logo
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Staff Editorial

Women not allowed to speak on birth control


In a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing last week over President Obama’s mandate to eliminate co-pays for birth control, women learned something interesting: An all-male panel knows more about their bodies than they do.

Rep. Joe Walsh contended that the hearing on birth control access was not about women, but about religious freedom.  Minority Rep. Carolyn Maloney was not convinced that the hearing was about religious liberties and offered some fiery words to fellow members of the committee.

“I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning,” Maloney said. “Where are the women?”

Maloney, who eventually walked out of the hearing, accused Republican committee chairman, Rep. Darrel Issa, of trying to send women back to a primitive era when “the government thought what happens in the bedroom (was) their business.”

There should have been women on that panel. But then again, how could the women have been objective when the issue is connected to what goes on in their bodies. What kind of precedent would that create? Letting women testify about contraceptives could lead to men testifying about prostate cancer or erectile dysfunction.

It seems that some Republicans on Capitol Hill would rather treat women like chattel and pretend that access to contraceptives is a religious issue to be discussed by a panel of men.

Huffington Post bloggers Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks wrote on their blog that the hearing reveals that women have not yet benefited from the Civil Rights Act.

“Over half the population still doesn’t enjoy full civil rights, and Republicans seemed bent on taking away some of the most important ones they have,” wrote Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks on their blog.

Women should have access to birth control without having to pay co-pays. Preventing them from speaking about that right in the hearing was a travesty.

Tags: , , , ,


  • Dana Ribble

    I praise you for including this article. It should be only a discussion for women. Men shouldn't be involved in this. It would be such an easy caveat from the religious organizations to say, "although it is against our belief structure
    this is offered". It is a belief that keeps the cycle of poverty alive and growing. If historically men had done the right thing by paying support and being a good father we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

    • Mike Wazowski

      > It should be only a discussion for women.

      If you're suggesting that female reproductive rights are only for *a* woman to decide, I'd agree completely. if you're suggesting that women should get to decide, and then be able to compel to me pay for the decision I had no part in I will happily refuse to accept your decision.

      > It is a belief that keeps the cycle of poverty alive and growing.

      No, the cycle of poverty is driven by greed – something that is largely unreligious.

      > If historically men had done the right thing by paying support and being a good father we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

      Wait, so there would be no unwanted children if financial support was available for children? This is antithetical to the core of the pro-abortion argument: you can't make an unwanted child a worthwhile thing, that's why we abort it. If it was simply a matter of money we wouldn't be having this conversation. Your argument reduces women's reproductive right to something that can be bought and sold.

    • Ryan

      It should only be a discussion for women to make EVERYONE pay for something??? Without even addressing the idiocy of including something as predictable as birth control into health insurance, aka making car insurance include oil changes, how do you justify making others pay for a good they will not use???

      This editorial article and the comment by Dana illustrate how the uneducated have taken over this issue.

  • Mike Wazowski

    Here is how health insurance works: The members of a plan pay a premium. The premium is then invested by the insurance company in various financial instruments (often property due to the stability of the investment, sometimes simpler instruments) and as expenses are incurred by the insurance company, it uses its assets supported by premiums to pay the claims. The basic idea is, if one person gets very sick (say, a $500,000 illness) then instead of bankrupting that person, the 1,000,000 subscribers to the plan each pay fifty cents to make sure that person stays alive.

    Now, let's take another example: many insurance plans won't cover injuries due to, say, recreational drug use. This is because it is fundamentally a risky behaviour – and moreso, it's not fair to ask other people to pay for your illness when it is self-inflicted.

    When you ask me to pay for your birth control, you are asking me to subsidize your sexual behaviour. You are extremely confused, CEB, about what constitutes 'restricting access' if you believe that there is no difference between my supporting your right to engage in whatever sexual behaviours you desire, and my willingness to help *pay* for those behaviours.

    I am not interested in subsidizing someone else's reproductive organs. This is the exact same argument that abortion supporters make: I don't want to pay for your unwanted and abandoned children, so make abortion legal. I don't want to pay for you to engage in consequence-free sex; so don't *make* me pay for it.

    • Dana

      I am not interested in paying for the diseases you get from your not eating healthy or smoking or drinking or not wearing a seat belt. Because men refuse to wear condoms and the condoms that are worn can't provide 100% safety. Providing birth control is the wisest thing a society can provide.

      • Mike Wazowski

        >I am not interested in paying for the diseases you get from your not eating healthy or smoking or drinking or not wearing a seat belt.

        And you don't; smokers, unhealthy eaters and drinkers all pay a premium when they by insurance.

        >Because men refuse to wear condoms

        Sex that is entered into mutually is entered into under mutually agreed upon conditions. If a man refuses to wear a condom and the woman doesn't want to have sex without one, the word for this is rape.

        >d the condoms that are worn can't provide 100% safety. Providing birth control is the wisest thing a society can provide.

        You can't state that by assertion. If you want to talk about wisdom and the best interest of society, unequivocally having more people is the best thing for society: it ensures that it perpetuates; it ensures that there are more consumers and laborers to provide for continuing economic growth.

        Your argument has gone off the rails. Try starting over: why again should birth control be subsidized?

  • Dana

    The discussion and control of the matter should only be by woman. Man have had centuries of being able to prove reliable and they have proven that they can not. End of discussion.

    • Mike Wazowski

      >The discussion and control of the matter should only be by woman.

      It should be decided by *a* woman, yes. I don't think that to make a democratic decision with half the species is right.

      >Man have had centuries of being able to prove reliable and they have proven that they can not.

      Do not hold the actions of past generations against me, and I won't hold the actions of past generations against you.

      >End of discussion.

      Open minded-ness fail.

      • Dana

        We have to hold the past truths against future ones. The best way to predict future behavior is to look at the past behavior. Women need to stand up and take hold of these conversations and decisions. Once men start giving birth then the discussion can become "open minded". There is no reason for this to be open minded. There is no reason for men to have any say in this matter. They can have an opinion only if they keep it to themselves. Women should be controlling everything about birth control and what insurance coverage they need.

        • Balanced

          Dana, there should be women on the committee, but these are terribly hateful sexist arguments you make. For instance, using your very own argument about not wanting to pay for other people's diseases coupled with your stance on this being a "woman only" conversation, someone can very well say, "Well, male taxpayers shouldn't have to pay to offset a woman's birth control problem." As long as this discussion requires taxes from all citizens, then all citizens get a vote. When women can get pregnant without male sperm, then women can control the discussion concerning those specific situations. Until then, I agree with you that women should control everything about birth control – they have the choice of paying for it, abstaining from unprotected vaginal sex, or dealing with a pregnancy. But it's unfair to demand tax money from men and not give them a vote in the situation.

          • Jess

            " When women can get pregnant without male sperm, then women can control the discussion concerning those specific situations."

            Exactly. Men and women are equals, and as such, should both be involved in this discussion.

            It is a travesty that some women think men are too stupid, or too irresponsible, or too lazy, to deserve to be included in the discussion of children and pregnancy.

        • Mike Wazowski

          >We have to hold the past truths against future ones.

          You're not holding them against the truth, you're holding them against me, personally. I am being punished for something someone else did.

          > The best way to predict future behavior is to look at the past behavior.

          This is a logical fallacy called post hoc ergo propter hoc.

          > Women need to stand up and take hold of these conversations and decisions.

          I agree with this completely, women are far to often cowed by the patriarchy.

          > Once men start giving birth then the discussion can become "open minded".

          How about once women fight in the armed forces at the same rate as men, and support their families at the same rate as men, and die in homicides at the same rate as men, and are incarcerated at the same rate as men we can become "open minded?" See, stupid red herring arguments work both ways.

          >There is no reason for this to be open minded.

          Sure there is. You're asking to compel me to do something that I otherwise would not be involved in. It'd be like if there was a medical procedure you wanted because you were afraid of the consequences if you didn't, and I, as a man, told you "No, that's immoral – I am banning it, you can't have it." Let's call the procedure, for the sake of argument, shmabortion.

          >There is no reason for men to have any say in this matter.

          You're saying that there's no reason for men to have a say in whether or not they pay for birth control for *other people who they are not having sex with*? That's what "this matter" is.

          >They can have an opinion only if they keep it to themselves.

          Wow…I sincerely hope this is just an debating position; because you just validated 30,000 years of sexual discrimination. "A woman can have an opinion, only if they keep it to themselves."

          >Women should be controlling everything about birth control and what insurance coverage they need.

          I agree. And when they take all the privelege, they will take all that responsibility: paying for their decisions. If you disenfranchise me, one of the nasty consequences of that is that you don't get my support. I'd be likely to support whatever choice you made – but by cutting me out of the conversation you violate my basic right to self-determination, and so I refuse to take part in your process. See? You've made an enemy simply by your flawed process here.

  • Todd

    It is completely wrong to not have a female speak on a issue that directly concerns women. To not have a woman on the committee is a outrage. I do not however feel it is the governments right to force a organization to cover birth control. When you let government into your lifestyle or beliefs you open the door to a dark place you all would not want to go. All personal decisions have a positive or negative result based on choice. Now with that said, I do feel that it is not right to murder someone for no reason at all.

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    How was your first week of classes?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Recent articles

  • Special Sections