Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Canada We Take Care Of Our Sluts

“In 1892, a federal law was passed into the Criminal Code making it illegal to sell or advertise birth control in Canada, even though many women at the time were risking their physical and mental health because of almost annual pregnancies. Dangerous backstreet abortions were commonplace.

Elizabeth Bagshaw, one of Canada’s first female doctors, championed the notion that women should have the right to prevent pregnancy. She established Canada’s first family planning clinic in Hamilton, Ontario in 1932, although it was illegal to do so and despite intense criticism from the medical and religious communities.

50 years ago contraception was fully legalized in Canada.

“Today in Canada, thanks to a public health care system, any woman can access birth control pills through a prescription from their nurse or doctor. The cost is low ($25-$30/month), and many corporate insurance plans will cover the majority, if not all, of that cost.” See "In Canada We Take Care Of Our Sluts".

In the US recently a Georgetown student (Sandra Fluke) attempted to explain to a congressional panel why birth control should be covered by health insurance and/or affordable. In a country where free speech is constitutionally protected, she was initially barred from the (all male) Republican controlled panel.

Rush Limbaugh, the extreme right wing radio host, must think we still live in the 1950s. He called women who use birth control “sluts”. He said that if women want contraception covered by health insurance, then everyone is paying for her contraception, so she is being paid to have sex. If she is being paid to have sex then she is a slut. So, a women is a slut because she wants to take good care of her health. Simply neanderthal thought process here.

What is a man called who uses Viagra if said prescription is covered through his health insurance plan?

Not all women use birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Sometimes there is another medical reason. Sandra Fluke has a friend who suffers from painful uterine cysts and she cannot afford the birth control pills that would ease her suffering.

"Republicans are attempting to interfere with a woman’s right to prevent pregnancy and take care of their health". Making contraception unavailable or unaffordable will jeopardize woman’s health and result in more abortions. Surely contraception is a better alternative to abortion.

"Access to birth control and contraception is about public health. Public health policy is only effective when we have the freedom to make healthy choices, and affordable access to medication and health care".

Canadian women take for granted the freedom to make these healthy choices. Women in the United States do not have that freedom.

This is a giant step backwards for the US.

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