Pills & defective uteruses
This post made me cranky. I’m sure that nugget comes as no surprise to you. Had she not disabled comments when someone disagreed with her, I would have very much liked to say that the pill is often used for non-contraceptive purposes. It made my life bearable for five years. It slowed down my endometriosis, a disease that resulted in physical pain so intense that I would curl into the fetal position with a heating pad, in cold sweats, moaning. From the age of 11 until I was 14 (when I started taking the pill), there were at least two days out of the month that I could not function or leave my house because 1) I hurt that much and 2) I would bleed so heavily that I that I would have to change everything from the waist down every hour. After my first laparoscopic surgery when I was 19, I took the pill daily (so it would prevent a “normal” cycle) to keep the disease at bay.
I got pregnant with JP when I was 23 (surprise!). SG at 27 (sorta planned). XC at 29 (even bigger surprise). I honestly and truly believe that, were it not for the pill, I wouldn’t have children. This would probably be an infertility blog. Mr. G and I would be dealing with expensive and invasive procedures and I would be dealing with the reality that experiencing pregnancy wasn’t in my future. I’m thankful my parents could afford to pay for my birth control pills. I’m thankful that, even though I was baptized in the Catholic Church, I was allowed to take the pills.
My uterus hates me. After XC was born the cramps and bleeding gradually returned until I felt like I was back in square one. I was done. I chose to have uterine ablation which effectively removed any possibility that I would have another baby. I’m okay with that. My last pregnancy was excruciating. Funny how 11-lb babies have a way of really wreaking havoc on the body, innit? I’m glad I had that right. I’m glad I had that choice. I don’t regret it.
I’ve heard a lot of arguments about self-control, abstaining, how the Catholic Church says birth control is evil. My responses are thus:
1. Being on the pill did not result in my being a nymphomaniac slut*. I’ve had sex with exactly one man in my life. He’s my husband.
2. I like having sex with my husband and abstaining from sex because we don’t want another baby, well, no thank you.
3. The Catholic Church is not the governing body of the United States, nor do I feel that we (as a country) should have to abide by its rules any more than I think we should have to abide by Muslim law, Mormon ethics, or Jewish beliefs. I like religious freedom. It’s good. Catholics think the pill is an abomination? Awesome. Don’t take it. I respect your choice in religion. I respect your right to abstain. I respect your right to be a baby machine. Please respect my right to use birth control, have sex, and choose when to be done having babies.
Speaking of the Catholic Church…
I think it’s hard for the Catholic Church to try to take a moral high ground on this issue when they’re perfectly happy to turn a blind eye to child molesters and rapists within their ranks.
From the Maddow Report: “Twenty-eight states already require organizations that offer prescription insurance to cover contraception and since 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control, many Catholic institutions offer the benefit to their employees. For instance, a Georgetown University spokesperson told ThinkProgress yesterday that employees ‘have access to health insurance plans offered and designed by national providers to a national pool. These plans include coverage for birth control.’ Similarly, an informal survey conducted by Our Sunday Visitor found that many Catholic colleges have purchased insurance plans that provide contraception benefits.”
Can we say “manufactured crisis” by the right wing machine? I thought so.
* I also don’t regard anyone who’s had more than one sexual partner as a nymphomaniac slut. Your bedroom, your business (provided consenting adults are involved). I’ve just heard “the pill will make women slutty”/ “only sluts need the pill!” arguments one too many times. Puh-lease.