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Political Specturum: A View From the Left — Birth Control


March 15, 2012 by Richard Drake

Question: Why is the national political debate so preoccupied with the topic of birth control?

We’ve all been hearing a lot recently about religious liberty, freedom, the First Amendment and how lots and lots of men feel about the birth control debate that is sweeping this country. Well, one says “debate,” but in reality, the debate was settled long ago: most Americans are in favor not only of birth control, but also of having insurance companies pay for it.

What began as a skirmish with the Roman Catholic Church has spread far and wide. Then again, not really. The national media, ever slow to pick up on a story, has failed to noticed that attacks on a woman’s right to choose birth control or have access to an abortion have been under assault for some years now.

Literally millions of words have been written and spoken on the subject, but this is what it all boils down to: Women don’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain.

I was going to go with the old cliche, “Women don’t know their place,” but we’ll come to that one soon enough. But really, when it it is all said and done, what these wise men (and a scatterings of women) are saying to us all is that women — especially in this sensitive period in their lives, when they can’t think rationally — need to be guided along gently, and not fooled by some guy with a degree. And who better than a politician, drunk with moral outrage?

Women vote more than men do. I just mention this because it wasn’t always the case. In the far past, women were demure homemakers (okay,that’s just the TV version – I’ve never known anyone who was actually demure) who baked cookies and met Mongo with a Martini when he came home from the office. These days, Mon- go may well be working for a woman.

Nobody wants to live in the 1950s again, except for the guys with bad haircuts in state houses who talk grandly about how Obama is “raping” the country politically with one breath, and in the next proudly vote on forcing a woman (especially one who may be the victim of rape or incest) to undergo a vaginal ultra- sound before they can obtain an abortion.

God may not be dead, but irony certainly is.

So this debate is about freedom and liberty, though not in the sense the hysterical “Obama is attacking Christians” crowd would have us believe. It is not about the freedom of institutions to deny health care to employees, or liberating women from having any say at a critical time in their lives.

It is part of the continuing backlash against women who “don’t know their place,” if you will, that has been taking place for almost half a century now.

What is truly ironic is that this is National Women’s History Month, a time when we both honor the achievements of women in our society, and we all learn more about them. We shouldn’t be acting as though they can’t think for themselves.

Click here to read Mike Landry’s response to the question

Richard Drake

Richard S. Drake has been writing about political and cultural affairs in Northwest Arkansas for 20 years. The author of Freedom Run a science fiction novel, he can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter. He can be contacted at:

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