At the national level the Republican Party has spent the last month or so in an incredible “race to the bottom” on women’s health care. Apparently they believe that attacking women’s access to birth control is a smart tactic to win elections. But considering that 99% of women will use some form of birth control at some point in their lives, you really have to wonder who’s advising these politicians.
We’ll add that to the long list of questions we have for the New Hanover County Commissioners today. Just last night the all-male Board of County Commissioners voted to reject a state grant in the amount of $8,899 that would “provide medical services related to family planning including physician’s consultation, examination, prescription, continuing supervision, laboratory examination and contraceptive supplies.” Congratulations New Hanover County Commissioners! You win the blue ribbon in the race to the bottom on women’s health!
Just as significant as what they did (denying low-income women access to basic preventative health care which, for women, DOES include birth control) is what they said about what they did. According to the Wilmington Star Commissioner Rick Catlin stated that he had an issue with “using taxpayer dollars to fund someone’s irresponsibility.” Chairman Ted Davis continued on the theme saying, “If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Once again bear in mind that we are talking about birth control here. The New Hanover County Commission is now taking the position that women should not have sex for non-procreative reasons. Because certainly no man has ever had the desire to do such a thing.
It’s pretty clear that the Davis, Catlin and the rest are convinced that only a “certain type” of woman uses birth control. I think we all we have to do is reference Rush Limbaugh’s debacle last week to know what they’re calling such women in their minds. (As an interesting side note, mysteriously the funding for condoms in the New Hanover County’s public health department appears to remain intact.)
While the women of New Hanover County and of the state of North Carolina become very aware that their health care is being turned into a political issue (and preparing to turnout to the polls to let the world know just what they think of that), here’s some food for thought for you, the all-male New Hanover Board of Commissioners:
Not that we owe you an explanation but you should know that there are a plethora of reasons that women use birth control. And, in spite of what Mr. Catlin and his colleagues think, the real reason that most women use birth control is because we’re responsible. We’re responsible by preventing unintended pregnancies so we can finish school, start a career, care for the children that we already have, or space pregnancies to protect our health and future fertility. Many of us have medical conditions that we are responsible for proactively addressing using birth control including potentially serious and painful conditions like endometriosis. And yes, there are women who take birth control because they don’t want to get pregnant right now and taking birth control to prevent an unintended pregnancy is a responsible decision to make. It’s a decision that’s just fine because frankly it is none of anyone else’s business most especially the New Hanover County Commissioners’. And last time I checked it takes two people to create a pregnancy.
So what can you do outraged women and men of North Carolina? Sign our petition right now letting the board know exactly how you feel about their decision and urging them to reverse course at their next meeting!