V is for Viagra

This month we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Even though decades have passed since women had to seek out chop shops in order to care for their reproductive health it seems our freedoms remain on the chopping block.  Several states especially those that are located in the Bible belt have made it their mission to limit the choices of women forcing them across state lines, hours and miles away from home to seek basic treatment such as mammograms and contraceptives.

The state of Texas long ago declared war on women and on the final day of 2012 in the late afternoon Judge Gary Harger ruled that it is within the scope of Texas law to deny state funding to any doctor if they are advocates of abortion rights for women. The competency of the doctor is not measured or considered in anyway. This, in turn, allows the state of Texas the legal authority to refuse reimbursement to doctors who perform medical services through Planned Parenthood simply because they are in favor of abortion rights, and offer abortion services.

What’s fascinating or better yet disturbing is the fact that we can’t turn on the TV without watching a commercial for “male enhancements” and yet we censor conversations about women’s health.

Every male enhancement commercial looks the same—an older gentlemen with a smile on his face as his arms are wrapped around a woman with the caption “don’t let low testosterone get in the way of living your life”.  So, it seems we are OK with advertising men’s “health” as it pertains to sex and “living their life” and taking “control” over their bodies but when women ask for the same authority they are called sluts. Last year NPR covered this hypocrisy as it pertains to Catholic groups that are vehemently against a women’s right to body autonomy but pro a man’s right to sex. “Procreation is something the Catholic Church encourages. And Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs can be of help”.

Except not all sex is for procreation, but trying to insert common sense into this argument is like trying to convince conservative Members of Congress that a woman can’t use magic to prevent pregnancy through rape.

Society tells women in this country that their gender doesn’t preclude them from achieving professional success and holding some of the most powerful offices in the land yet choosing when and where they want to have children is too overwhelming? So, we trust Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State and to possibly be President in 2016, but not to control her own reproductive health?

Last Friday Washington, DC was overrun with anti-choice groups from all over the country for their 40th March for Life event. Reports claimed that 80% of the participants were going to be high school students and youth under 20.  Just because women’s rights are quasi-protected right now doesn’t mean it will always be that way.

But what we do know for sure is that unlike women, men will remain free and clear to “live their lives” even if it’s way past their prime.

Tune into Politini this Thursday (and every Thursday from 8-9pm EST) to continue the reproductive health vs. recreational sex conversation and much, much, more!