Second, I am a woman.
I love, I sympathize, and I like helping people. I believe in the American Dream. I really do like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, although I do not care for that song. At all. I cry when I read a sad story about someone I don’t even know. I have a feeling if you and I sat down for tea and didn’t talk a peep of politics, I’d like you. I’d even make you some of my famous banana bread.
I am imperfect. I occasionally act like a know-it-all, but I know I have a lot to learn.
I was a registered Republican for many years, believe it or not. I dated and lived with a man for nearly eight years before marrying him. Our nine year anniversary is at the end of May. We make an odd pair, he and I, but every day is interesting. I love him, I respect him, and I am proud of him.
I am not a Whore Pill-Popping Godless Harlot, I am you.
Okay, I’m not exactly like you: I did take the whore pills for about 15 years, so I guess that would qualify as whore pill-popping. Allow me to give a little background on this one:
See, when I was a teenager, I got the worst kind of cramps imaginable. It felt like someone scraped the insides of my uterus with a box cutter. It would hurt so bad, it would somehow impact the nerves in my legs, and my thighs would throb with pain. My skin would go ashen, and I would throw up. By the time I hit college, it generally got better, but there were days I felt so much pain, I couldn’t leave my bed let alone my room. It would be easy for me to say this was the sole reason I went on the Pill, and you’d probably agree that is reasonable. If I said that, I wouldn’t be entirely truthful.
I also went on the pill because I made a choice. I did not want to have children, and I was well aware of the statistics for children born to young mothers. Did you know that sons of teen mothers are more likely to go to prison, and daughters are more likely to become teen mothers themselves? Nearly 80% of teen mothers wind up on welfare. If I did want children, I’d want them to have the best chance possible. There are so many unavoidable obstacles in raising a child – don’t you agree we should do our best to avoid those we can? That’s why a lot of women take the Pill for contraceptive purposes. These aren’t just teens, or even unmarried women. Many women on the pill are wives and already loving mothers. They take the Pill because they understand the financial and emotional realities of being a parent, and want to provide their existing children the best opportunities possible. The Pill helps a husband and wife plan their family for success.
When I made my decision, I realized I had to take my health, my life, and my well-being into my own hands, rather than in the hands of another person. I made a responsible choice to take the Pill – the most effective form of birth control this side of sterilization. When I went on it, I had been with my future husband for a while, and we had a long-term monogamous relationship. It made sense to take this next step. I also liked the idea of not being bedridden from pain every month.
See, what worries me about your anti-birth control agenda is you’re shaming a young woman when you should be applauding her. She is making sensible choices and putting her needs and the needs of her potential future children first. She knows she’s not in a position or condition to have children and as a result, she’s setting up a better life for her future children down the line, if she chooses to have any.
Here in Arizona, there is a proposed bill that explicitly singles out birth control as an acceptable thing to discriminate against on health plans. Not only does the bill single out birth control from an unending list of things health plans provide that an employer can have a “religious or moral objection” to (such as the non-procreation-sex-promoting Viagra, or you know, blood transfusions), it exhibits remarkable ignorance on how benefit plans are designed and on the Pill itself. It is also designed to shame the woman: she would have to not only provide her employer with proof she was taking the Pill for non-contraceptive purposes, the bill allows the employer to charge the employee for all fees incurred by her employer while they confirmed she wasn’t a Whore-Pill Popping Godless Harlot. Oh, dads aren’t off the hook either – they can look forward to explaining to their employer that their 16 year-old dependant has crippling cramps and is not in fact, a Godless Harlot. They can also enjoy paying the fees for the interrogation into their family life and determination of moral character.
Is this what we’ve come to? Shaming women for being responsible about their bodies and their future? Arizona, a state with the 5th highest poverty rates in the country, 2nd highest teen pregnancy rates, and low high school completion rates, thinks it’s a good idea to create thinly veiled social legislation shaming a family for determining what is best for them? How is this limited government again?
I really want to believe you are someone who means well but are so removed from the every day reality of hard-working young American women and their families, you are simply making ill-informed statements and decisions. We can work together on that one, because I’d like to think you want to be educated on the reality of your constituents. My fear is that despite your touting first amendment rights, you actually want to marry church and state as long as it is your religion that marries the two. If that is the case, I am afraid we cannot come to an agreement. I just request that you explicitly tell your constituents the truth behind your actions rather than cherry-pick justifications for forcing your religious beliefs on others via public office.
Now that we have come to this, I recognize you would still probably see me as a Whore Pill-Popping Godless Harlot.
But I know I’m still you, I’m just lucky to be on this side of your bubble.