The Common Good

Contraception Debate Overlooks the Obvious

Since Rush Limbaugh’s tirade, calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” for testifying for free access to birth control, the actual subject of debate seems like a distant memory. What were we talking about again? Paying for sex? Wait …

Birth control photo, Melissa King, Shutterstock.com
Birth control photo, Melissa King, Shutterstock.com

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As religion journalist Nicole Neroulias points out in a recent piece, “I Was a Virgin on Birth Control,” and as others have attempted to testify, doctors prescribe birth control to remedy a number of real, physical ailments. These include ovarian cysts (think kidney stone-style pain, guys), endometriosis(which can lead to infertility) and a variety of other conditions that we know all-male panels probably don’t want to hear details about.

From Neroulias’ column:

“This is the angle I've been waiting in vain for religious and mainstream journalists to acknowledge and investigate. Asa teenager, I had debilitating menstrual cycles, but the perceived stigma of going on the pill deterred me from getting the help I needed. I finally started taking it in college, as a virgin with no foreseeable pregnancy panic, buoyed by all other the young women around me who were taking it for a variety of reasons. (Plus, it was cheap at the student health center, and I didn't have to worry that my parents would find out and get the wrong idea.)

Since then, my mother and sister have also taken the pill on medical grounds, as have dozens of our relatives and friends. We're talking about a well-established legal medication routinely prescribed for a range of symptoms and sicknesses – but the media spotlight on non-medical opinions from the likes of Limbaugh and Lori, rather than doctors and patients, make it sound more like a Viagra and RU-486 drug cocktail.”

Read her full column here.

Birth control photo, Melissa King, Shutterstock.com

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