“Respectability politics” is a concept that plagues many social justice movements. Members of marginalized groups feel the need to prove that they are worthy of certain rights they want to be granted in order to win victory in mainstream society. It’s an understandable impulse, but it often ends up hurting a cause as well as the people fighting for it. Irin Carmon takes this on in the context of birth control access and makes a strong case against the overemphasis on medically necessary contraception: Continue reading “Birth control is related to sex, and we should talk about that”
The Supreme Court struck a blow against reproductive rights yesterday in its ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that Katie McDonough sums up as “five male justices ruled that thousands of female employees should rightfully be subjected to the whims of their employers.” It’s infuriating that medical decisions that should be made between women and their doctors are subjected to religious beliefs grounded in junk science. Women need access to the full range of contraception options, and imbuing corporations with the religious rights of a person and inserting those beliefs into women’s health care decisions is unacceptable. Continue reading “Corporations win over women: Hobby Lobby roundup”
Since “the pill” was first approved 44 years ago, it’s been one of the most proven and tested pharmaceuticals of our time. It is safe, reliable, effective, and presents very few risks or complications for the more than 10 million women who use it. When other drugs have that kind of track record, we approve them for purchase without a prescription; the Food and Drug Administration has already reclassified over 100 different treatments. Name-brand drugs like Advil, Pepcid, Claritin, Prilosec and many others were once sold by prescription only, but moved to over-the-counter sale (OTC) once they’d been proven safe and unlikely to be abused.
When treatments go over-the-counter, two things happen: they get dramatically cheaper and consumers save time and hassle by avoiding unnecessary doctors’ appointments just to get the pharmaceuticals they already know they need.
A few years ago, I went to the doctor about a pain in my leg that was so intense it would wake me in the middle of the night. Tests revealed that it was a blood clot, and with no other risk factors my doctor determined it was caused by birth control pills. I had to stop taking them immediately, and thankfully a combination of medicine and stopping the pills cleared it up. But it left me with very limited effective birth control options as any return to hormonal birth control methods could potentially be life-threatening. Despite a clear medical reason for switching to an IUD, I still had to wade through obstacles thrown up by my insurance company, and my doctor wouldn’t even give me an appointment until it was clear how much my insurance would cover. I was lucky to be able to get access to the care I needed eventually, but for a lot of women it can be even more challenging, time consuming and costly. Continue reading “The birth control coverage mandate: our work isn’t done”