I’m confused over the recent discussions concerning contraception. Tell me if I’m totally out in left field, but it sounds like some people are arguing that there’s no legitimate need for contraceptives? Am I missing something?
~ Accidental Time Traveler
Dear Accidental Time Traveler,
So it is no wonder you are confused. It is as if we are all visiting some historic site, where people walk around in period dress and act out the lives of our less-enlightened ancestors. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been accosted by “ye ole stout Limbaugh”, giving a tongue-lashing to a woman who dared to testify in support of health insurers being required to cover the cost of women’s reproductive healthcare. Health insurers paying healthcare expenses – how absurdly rational have we become? Then there is the devoutly “holier than thou” Santorum, who is not speaking from a sanitorium but from a presidential campaign podium, asking us to take pity on religious institutions that find contraception offensive and evil. Next he’ll be wanting to reinstitute witch trials and stake burnings for women who are caught using such “devilish perversions”.
Now, to be fair, let us take a moment to try and understand where these thinkers of ancient opinion are coming from. For some, contraception is basically seen as a means to prevent God from doing his job. You see, God has this master plan for the universe, and has already ordained which sperm and egg are destined to “meet-up” in the love canal. So, imagine the chosen sperm, battling all the other sperm to fulfill his manifest destiny; he successfully surges ahead of all the others, when, suddenly, his holy quest is thwarted and he slams headlong into a diaphragm. He is left dazed and confused; he questions his faith in God. The other sperm laugh, some even jeer that they saw it coming, which is why they didn’t put up much of a fight. And where does this leave God and his master plan? Perhaps he has to go to plan ‘B’ – immaculate conception.
Other passengers, on the same train of thought, are simply upset over people having sex. They fear that if the threat of an unwanted pregnancy is, well, no longer a threat, that people will be enjoying sex whenever and wherever they want. For all of the passengers on this train to antiquity, sex is not considered a casual leisure activity. The only time they engage in sexual intercourse is when they are trying to make a baby, and they do not enjoy it – period.
Evolution, which is also considered to be an abomination by anti-contraceptionists, brings us a counterview of human sexual activity that actually supports the importance of baby making. Very early on, having babies, to increase the size of the tribe, was an integral part of species survival. This primitive prodigious propensity to procreate did not promote strictly monogamistic conjugal relationships. And while today we are not worried about our extinction, most males still have the inclination to spread their seed, and many women still have the instinctual desire to give birth. I’m not suggesting that these base instincts are an excuse to devolve into an orgasmic heap of mass copulation. While that might be an interesting exercise, my real intent in bringing up our less sexually inhibited ancestors, is to point out that we, by nature, are wired to have sex; that people are going to engage in this activity, whether we deem it appropriate or not. We can no more keep people from copulating than we can stop the sun from rising. So isn’t it better, for all of us, to provide a safe means for people to be sexually active? Is not, as people in period costume would say, “an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?” And doesn’t it sound ridiculous that I even have to ask such questions?
So, while no one seems to have an issue with health insurers covering the cost of erectile dysfunction medication, the war still rages as to whether those same insurers should provide women with a means to protect themselves from those drug enhanced erections.
Methinks I hear the town crier calling.