May 10, 2010

Happy birthday to you

... my dear contraceptive pill. Without you I would have had to live with years of pain once a month. Without you, I would have not have been able to get out of bed with the anemia. Without you, I might have gotten pregnant when I was raped. During consensual sex you were my back up plan, should the condom break or leak.

You are still only available on prescription because the balding middle age white men who take the decisions are not willing to relinquish control of women's bodies. The logic is, if girls are afraid of getting pregnant, they won't have sex. As if pregnancy was just another "I told you so". As if having consensual sex was a bad thing.

There is a direct correlation between lack of comprehensive sex education and teenage pregnancy. If schools taught that girls are supposed to feel pleasure too, it would be another tool in the box of "stand up for what you want". Girls should not be put in the position of gatekeepers to the precious vagina always saying no. Mutual respect and informed consent is a more pragmatic approach.

But the medical profession prefers to be thought of as gods dispensing wisdom from on high, reserving the right to scold women as being foolish little girls, especially in the case of the morning after pill. Firstly, you got to pay €50 to see the doctor. Then put up with the lecture. Eventually you get the prescription and then pay the extortionate pharmacy fees. In plenty of other European countries, anyone can walk into a pharmacy and buy the morning after pill over the counter.

Then again Ireland has never taken a pragmatic approach to any issue. Ireland legislates for the population it wants, not the population it has. That's why the measures taken never work.

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