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Having gone through puberty with a nearly blemish-free complexion, I was horrified at age 21 to find myself with a horrific case of what I guess was acne. I was just out of college and teaching ninth grade students in East Baltimore, Md., and for a country girl, it was quite a challenge.
After a visit back to Kentucky, at the insistence of my mother, I made an appointment with a dermatologist who blamed the ‘breakout’ on the stress of the job. (I also blamed it on my crummy studio apartment and being homesick.) He prescribed birth control pills for me as a remedy.
Less than a month later, my complexion was clear, and I was in control (well, as much as I could be) of six classes of ninth grade English students, average class size 38. I stopped taking the pills; after all I was just taking them for my complexion.
Now 40 some years later, I hear Rush Limbaugh and others attack a 30-year-old woman for saying birth control pills should be covered by health insurance, that they are beneficial for reasons other than contraception, and I am outraged.
I hear and read today that in Arizona, the state Senate has passed a bill that would require a woman wanting to have contraception included in her health insurance plan have a “doctor’s note stating that the pill would be used for something other than birth control.” And I am outraged.
I see that Gov. Rick Perry is throwing Planned Parenthood out of Texas, because he doesn’t believe tax money should pay for abortions. Tax money does not pay for abortions and even if it did, women pay taxes, too. And I am outraged.
And then I do a little Googling, admitting I am not doing in-depth research, and find that most health insurance plans cover erectile dysfunction for men and vasectomies, too. And I am outraged at this double standard.
While I proudly state that I am a person who almost always votes Democrat, I do not see this as an issue for Democrats or Republicans. I see this as an issue for women like me who remember the days before the pill and Roe v. Wade.
I see this as an issue for women who love their mates and desire intimacy, but choose to have no more children. I see this as an issue for young women who live in a time of more relaxed sexual mores than when I was young. (And face it folks, that genie is not going back in the bottle.) I see this as an issue that would have my mother who would be 86 were she still alive and my grandmother who would be 112, writing letters to their Congressmen. Because when they were outraged, and they would be over this attack upon the rights of women, that is what they did.