War, Part One

I was seven months pregnant in October of 2010 when my midwife alerted me to the fact that my chosen post-pregnancy method of birth control, a copper IUD, might not be available. A proposed amendment to the state of Colorado’s constitution, known as the Colorado Fetal Personhood Amendment, was seeking to codify the rights of the unborn at the moment of conception. This meant that if Amendment 62 was passed, IUDs and many forms of hormonal birth control would no longer be available in the state of Colorado for fear that they would prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. My baby was due around the first of the new year and in waiting the required six weeks post-partum, the Personhood Amendment would go into effect and I would no longer be able to get an IUD.

To say that I was shocked and angry at this news would be an understatement. The Personhood Amendment had already been defeated by the people of Colorado in 2008 and yet the backers of this initiative had the hubris to believe that they knew better than the electorate and that they had the right to make women’s reproductive choices.

To even think of this time makes me sputter with rage. It wasn’t enough for these people to just not use those forms of birth control, they actively sought to take away my right to make medical choices regarding my own body. I was not incompetent or incapable of making choices in my best interest–indeed, I was profoundly aware that without reliable birth control my well-being and that of my children would be at serious risk. I had just emerged from a major depressive episode where I had wished for death daily, only to find myself unexpectedly pregnant. I was taking precautions not to relapse after the baby was born and the last thing I needed was the added stress of facing a sexless marriage.

I’m not being overly dramatic here, if Amendment 62 had passed my birth control options would have been reduced to barrier methods and natural family planning. I have a thyroid condition which makes tracking my cycle nearly impossible and the failure of both condoms and a diaphragm  is why I had an unexpected pregnancy. I had just started a graduate program and was desperately trying to repair the damage done to the relationship with my children and my marriage (one of many reasons why a sexless marriage was unthinkable) that was caused by my depression. I had accepted the addition of an unexpected baby but I knew that another unplanned pregnancy would send me over the edge.

But those who support policies like the Personhood Amendment don’t care about individual circumstances. They don’t care about medical realities. They don’t care about a woman’s quality of life. They believe that protecting even the remotest possibility of life is more important than all of the collateral damage it does to those lives already in existence. Thankfully Amendment 62 was soundly defeated a second time by the citizens of Colorado and I was able to get my IUD.  I have maintained my mental health, almost finished a Master’s Degree and have become a better wife and mother–all because I know that if I get pregnant again it will be on my own terms.

I was watching Meet the Press yesterday morning where some male pundit argued that the term “war on women” is overblown and irresponsible political rhetoric. Such an argument is the privilege of those who have full control over their bodies. Had the Fetal Personhood Amendment passed in my state I would not have had full control over my body and I can tell you, that felt like an attack. I felt like my very life was being threatend.

I am haunted by those few weeks in October 2010 where I experienced the fear of living in a society where women have no control over their reproduction. There are dire consequences to the debate over women’s reproductive freedom and the resulting policies and legislation which restrict it. I will explore those consequences more in part two but today I want to add my voice to the thousands that say my right to bodily autonomy is not up for debate. This war is personal to me.

Mraynes

Mraynes lives in downtown Denver with her husband and four children. She spends her time lobbying at the Colorado Legislature, managing all the things and preparing Gospel Doctrine lessons.

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46 Responses

  1. Diane says:

    My head is spinning.

    I find it utterly ironic to say that least that it is always men who seem to think they need to make the choices for us as women as to how to control our bodies.

    I also find it duplications as well as disingenuous for the Catholic church (or rather Catholic employers) to deny women Birth Control coverage when they supply Viagra for the male co-workers. Its like saying, “Women your not allowed to have sex, but, men we will help you in your hour of need.”

    The whole thing about this makes me want to spit because I use to work for a Medicaid HMO ( that was run by a Catholic Organization) and these people receive tons of money from both the Federal and State government. They have no business deny coverage claiming religious freedom when they receive this money. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    • mraynes says:

      Thanks for the comment, Diane. I second your bemusement that it always seems to be men who are pushing this type of legislation. The unbelievable arrogance it takes for them to believe that they should have a say in women’s most intimate decisions is absolutely stunning to me. Men would never stand for half of the garbage legislation that gets pushed on women if it affected them . You’re absolutely right, it is pure hypocrisy.

  2. Jessica says:

    I agree.

    I find it ironic that we are having this conversation again in our society. Have we not already decided that women are adults, and that we are not children or property of our fathers and husbands. The rhetoric makes me sick to listen to, and I am just shocked that some women I speak to have no objections. I think that they do not know our own history and that they do not know the implications.

    • mraynes says:

      I think one of the reasons this campaign against women’s reproductive freedom has been so successful is because women have taken that freedom for granted. Birth control has always been available so we assume that it will continue to be so. If there’s a bright side to the war on women I think it is that women are starting to wake up and realize that they really could lose their rights if they don’t stand up for it. I’m hopeful that this trend will continue.

  3. Rixa says:

    The more I hear about these birth control debates, the more disgusted I become with the Republican party and conservative right. It isn’t about religious freedom; it IS about controlling women’s bodies and their autonomy in making decisions about their healthcare and well-being. I think Mormons should be especially vocal in supporting women’s autonomy in this time of crisis. After all, our fundamental religious paradigm is that it’s more important to allow people to choose for themselves than it is to force everyone to live the “one right way.” (How convenient that that right way is often the one that men delineate and proscribe.)

    Birth control isn’t just for “sluts” and “prostitutes”–it’s also for married women. It’s also for those who pass the strictest conservative litmus test (no sex before marriage) and who wish to choose when to have or to delay children.

    • mraynes says:

      I absolutely agree with you, Rixa, Mormons should be on the forefront of protecting women’s right to agency. There is a fantastic organization called Catholics for Choice that Mormons could partner with but it breaks my heart that our leaders are much more likely to side with the Catholic bishops. The religious freedom argument is complete BS, especially after Obama came up with the compromise. The fact that the compromise still wasn’t acceptable proves that it has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with, as you say, controlling women’s bodies.

  4. PrivacyYay! says:

    When the RS instructor asked what modern advances we were thankful for, I listed birth control!

    It wasn’t until a few years ago when I read Hanna’s Daughters that I began to realize what a privileged daughter of modern times I am. It’s a multi-generational novel. The story begins with Hanna in the late 1800’s. When she is 12, she is raped by her cousin (who flees the area) and gets pregnant. The experience tears up her body unto near death, she survives, and then the birth tears up her body to the point of nearly dying, again. She raises her son (with, of course the whole community ostracizing her even though everyone knows it wasn’t her choice) by herself for years. Around age 18, her aunt essentially sets her up with an older man whose previous wife had died, thinking he was just weird enough that he might accept the damaged goods. They fall in love, get married, have more babies. A few kids later, the birth almost kills her. The doctor says she cannot go through this again or she will die. And the book beautifully captures the horrible dilemma for the married couple. He loves her, so he stays away from her. But after some time, when they both stand in need of comfort, they do what married people in love naturally do — they turn to each other. And she gets pregnant. Now in the book, she survives, because otherwise there wouldn’t be the daughter for the multi-generational storytelling, but real life isn’t always so lucky. Real life doesn’t even always have to be so dramatic to pose great risk. The book woke me up. It just didn’t occur to me until that point, what a gift and blessing the development of birth control is. And I’ve never taken it for granted since.

    Reproduction always has been and always will be a potentially life-threatening risk. Medical advances reducing that risk doesn’t erase the grim reality. So, I am with you. It feels like the war on women threatens our lives because it does.

    “But those who support policies like the Personhood Amendment don’t care about individual circumstances. They don’t care about medical realities. They don’t care about a woman’s quality of life. They believe that protecting even the remotest possibility of life is more important than all of the collateral damage it does to those lives already in existence.”

    It absolutely terrifies me how little supporters of personhood amendments-like legislation value my life.

    • mraynes says:

      Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll have to check that out. I agree with you, I find it so terrifying that the people behind this campaign fail to acknowledge the very real risks to women’s lives? It makes it hard for me to give them the benefit of the doubt that they actually care about my own personhood.

      I was reading a fascinating article today about an effort for pro-feminist legislators to push a Personhood for Women bill. I think it’s a sad commentary on our society that such legislation is actually needed in the 21st century.

      Here’s the article:

      http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/03/11/personhood-women-its-not-joke

      • CatherineWO says:

        I just posted a link to this same article on FB and am glad you linked to it here. It really is a wake-up call.

  5. Mommie Dearest says:

    Here’s my thumbs up for the timely post and the commentary. I agree that there is a war on women being pursued by some people (especially certain male ones) who think it’s their right to busybody their agendas without understanding into the lives of others. I don’t think it’s always so black and white that these people are always to be found in one political party, though it may seem that way to some. Though not a Republican myself, within that party I notice a conflict between the moderates who don’t care to be the medical police and the extremists who would be happy to see us back in the days of back-alley abortion deaths. I like to give those moderates my supportive attention when I can.

    Another commonly made point that I see as somewhat of a fallacy is the denigration of Viagra as not really a medical need when comparing it to birth control. Viagra was first developed as a circulation enhancer and is a rather routine medical necessity for a few months after many male urological surgeries. It’s not always used only by dirty old men who can’t perform without it, though Big Pharma sells it that way and that’s the popular image we have of the drug.

    It makes blog commenting hard, to see such nuances.

    • mraynes says:

      Excellent point, Mommie Dearest! I tried really hard in this post not to pin the war on women on Republicans. I believe there is a majority of conservatives, although inexplicably silent at the time being, who think this type of rhetoric and legislation is ridiculous and dangerous. I hope that majority speaks up soon. I also think it’s important to note that liberals and Democrats are not immune from misogyny as this article so aptly points out:
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/04/rush-limbaugh-s-apology-liberal-men-need-to-follow-suit.html

      I didn’t realize that Viagra had uses other than what it is generally known for but I think it is a perfect corollary to birth control. Men should try to empathize with women’s feelings and try to imagine their own outrage if Viagra was outlawed or restricted, realizing that this is exactly how women feel with regards to birth control. Thanks for the added information, it certainly adds more complexity to the conversation!

      • You can kind of equate Viagra with birth control since both are for both reproduction and other medical reasons. The problem is that they are going different directions in reproduction. Viagra encourages more breeding, while birth control encourages less. Still a stupid thing to try and legislate particular medications (aside from safety issues), but I don’t find the Viagra equevilancy to work so well.

      • Amelia says:

        Frank, I’m sure there are men who need viagra to allow them to reproduce, but I’m just as sure that it’s just as frequently (and my guess is it’s much more frequently) used to allow men to engage in recreational, non-reproductive sex. That’s certainly the common understanding of viagra’s use value. And that’s precisely what birth control allows women (and men!) to do. So while Viagra is sometimes used to promote procreation, I doubt it’s anything like the most common reason. In my opinion, the comparison is entirely apt.

        And do we really need to point out that women using birth control to have recreational, non-reproductive sex are allowing men to do likewise?

  6. Amen and amen. That fact that is issue has been coming up and the way in which is has been discussed by many conservatives has disgusted me and made me fear for my status in this country. I really hope most of the rhetoric stems from presidential race and candidates trying to “distinguish” themselves . . . I hope it dies down . . . but it sickens me that people (and mostly men at that) are trying to limit my reproductive choices. I also hate that those wanting to limit birth control don’t seem to think about the fact that birth control is used to treat a variety of conditions. Before I was married I took birth control to regular my cycle. I didn’t use it to prevent pregnancy–because I wasn’t having sex. Now that I’m married I use for both reasons. Also, it’s important that I regulate my cycle so that if I want to have kids down the road, I’ll be able to get pregnant easier, hopefully. Also, my unmarried sister uses birth control to treat her endometriosis and I know many other women who use birth control to treat other conditions. If you deny birth control, not only do you deny women their reproductive rights–you deny women treatment for a variety of conditions.

    • mraynes says:

      Your comment is exactly why women’s health has no business being legislated. These are medical concerns and these decisions should only be made by the individual woman and her medical provider. Lawmakers, and mostly male lawmakers at that, have no business making these types of decisions for women. The fact that they believe they even have this right should be concerning to every single American.

  7. Lyse says:

    My favorite line is this: “But those who support policies like the Personhood Amendment don’t care about individual circumstances. They don’t care about medical realities. They don’t care about a woman’s quality of life. They believe that protecting even the remotest possibility of life is more important than all of the collateral damage it does to those lives already in existence. ”

    Every time a bill like this is debated over, I feel like I’m living in the early days of A Handmaid’s Tale.

  8. CatherineWO says:

    Thank you for this post on such an important topic. Here in Montana the petitions are currently circulating to put a “personhood” law on the November ballot. When similar legislation was presented here a couple of years ago, many LDS Church members jumped on that bandwagon. I hate confrontation at church, but this is one area where I will not remain silent, and I hope others will speak up as well. People may mean well but not realize the ramifications of this type of legislation. I was pleased to hear today that Mitt Romney is the only GOP presidential candidate who has not signed a “personhood pledge,” which would commit him to pursuing a “personhood” constitutional amendment if elected.
    Both of my grandmothers reached a point in their reporductive lives where abstinance (within marriage) was the only thing that saved their lives. What a terrible price to pay. I consider the tubal ligation I had twenty-five years ago to be the greatest boon to my marriage. Thankfully, we lived in a progressive state (Oregon) with progressive insurance laws which required my employer-provided insurance to cover women’s healthcare. Another pregnancy would have been a serious risk to my health and my life.

    • PrivacyYay! says:

      I read (now I don’t remember where!) a month-ish ago that Romney HAD agreed to a personhood pledge and I was horrified. I’d love a link refuted that information.

  9. Diane says:

    @Frank

    I have a bleeding disorder. Because of this disorders my periods never, ever stopped. I would work during the day. Tied to a telephone for a Medicaid HMO and then at night I would wind up in the ER, why, because my health insurance wouldn’t cover birth control because it was run by a Catholic Organization. The last time I had gone to the ER was Easter Sunday, I had bled so much I nearly had a heart attack. I clearly, had medical necessity, but, they wouldn’t budge. How did I finally get them to cover it? I called the Vice Presidents office for my place of work. I told them how many times I had been to the ER in the past month, I told them how much the chemotherapy drug cost($90,000) a pop and I swear, the very next day my birth control was covered.

    Now, I’m sorry, but, Viagra in my opinion do not have the same health benefit that birth control pills do. Contrary to popular belief, men can not die from not having sex. And the fact that it is Men trying to deny me coverage and autonomy over my body for a life that isn’t even here yet, as oppose to a life that is here(mine) I find intrusive and condensing.

    • I wasn’t arguing for not covering birth control. My dear wife is one of those that have benefitted from using it for reasons other than birth control. I’ve been glad it has been covered in all my employers (including now for the Church). I personally don’t see a problem of covering it, or even covering medications that are for only birth control (and have no other medical uses). I think that even the “day after” pill should be covered.

      As MommieDearest pointed out, viagra is not only for sex, just like birth control is not only for controlling birth. My only contention was that, for sexual uses, viagara and birth control are doing different things, one encouraging more breeding, one encouraging less. That, to me, makes them less of a comparison. Birth control is not about being able to have more sex, it is about being able to have less babies. Viagra is mostly about having more sex, with some uses to have more babies. For those Christian “all life is sacred” types, the comparison between birth control and Viagra falls falt, since they are going different directions in making more children.

      I’ll reiterate – I do not, in any way, oppose coverage of birth control. I still have my beloved wife around today because of birth control coverage for medical reasons other than controlling birth. I was simply trying to express a possible rationale for ignoring the correlation between birth control and viagra.

  10. Cowgirl says:

    My state is currently undergoing a Personhood battle. At my university, young men with no experience or understanding of what they say write silly articles for the campus paper insisting that women just have to make sacrifices for the good of babies and that’s just the way it is. The Personhood votes in our state legislature came the same weeks as the contraception hearings in Congress and Rush Limbaugh’s infamous comments. I was initially surprised at the anger I felt. I don’t anger easily and I don’t take much personally. But I was furious. I thought about it and talked about it for days. I live with two men and they reluctantly listened to me turn the issue over and over in my head and out loud. Finally a friend said “It’s just like rape isn’t about sex, it’s about control.” And I realized she was right. I am pro-child and pro-family. These people aren’t. None of this is about children and families. It is all about control of women’s bodies. I felt angry because I realized I am under attack. And, young thing that I am, I’ve never experienced this before. Oh, I’ve heard sexist comments and bristled at the ugly things commentators say about female politicians. But placing the well being of a fertilized egg above my health, my life, and my physical autonomy? This is an entirely new level.

  11. JoAnna says:

    Please cite where, in the text of CO’s personhood law, it states that IUDs would be banned. I can’t seem to find it. I think your midwife was misinformed.

    I find it disturbing that you would prefer to have invasive objects placed in your uterus (don’t pro-choicers consider that rape?) for the purpose of killing any children who have the misfortune to be conceived. Prevent pregnancy all you wish, but there are better methods that are not as risky or invasive.

    • Mraynes says:

      From the New York Times, October 25, 2011

      “The [Personhood] amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and “morning-after pills,” which prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.”
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/us/politics/personhood-amendments-would-ban-nearly-all-abortions.html?pagewanted=all

      This is describing the exact same measure that was up for debate in Colorado. The fact that personhood laws outlaw legal and common forms of birth control is well known even though it isn’t explicitly in the text of the law. Neither I or my midwife were misinformed because to make sure this is what I was facing, I called the Personhood initiative election office to verify that this was a ramification of this law and they confirmed it.

      As for your last paragraph, it seems your problem is that an IUD does not allow for the implantation of of a fertilized egg–but neither does hormonal birth control and frankly, sometimes nature. I detailed why the other forms of birth control do not work for me. This was a personal decision made between myself, my husband and my midwife and you really have no business judging my reproductive choices. Also, the little quip that pro-choicers consider invasive objects in our uteri to be rape is patently absurd. We obviously have different feelings about this issue so I wish you well.

      • Nate Curtis says:

        I am not sure who you talked to, but this is from the the text of the bill, and it is on the personhood website,

        “ONLY BIRTH CONTROL THAT KILLS A PERSON SHALL BE AFFECTED BY THIS SECTION.”

        “ONLY IN VITRO FERTILIZATION AND ASSISTED REPRODUCTION THAT KILLS A PERSON SHALL BE AFFECTED BY THIS SECTION.”

        “NO INNOCENT CHILD CREATED THROUGH RAPE OR INCEST SHALL BE KILLED FOR THE CRIME OF HIS OR HER FATHER.”

        I have to agree with Joanne, there is no provision against IUDs, condoms, or traditional birth control. This law would affect abortions, morning-after, and killing off extra fertilizations resulting from artificial or invitro fertilization (not that any of those measures are acceptable either).

        The only way an IUD would be against the law is if someone used a copper IUD to terminate a pregnancy. If you insert a copper IUD within 5 days of getting pregnant, it has a better chance of terminating the pregnancy than the morning after pill. However, this is not a common application for copper IUDs.

        The rape clause is pretty damn bad. Forcing rape victims to give birth to their rapist’s child is a horrific idea to even propose.

        Could you please post a link to language indicating that this law would have affected preventative birth control? The Mississippi law you linked has completely different language.

      • Amelia says:

        Nate, one important way that the copper IUD works is by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. If a fertilized egg is defined as a person, then an IUD would be illegal because it works specifically to eliminate a “person.” I suppose the argument could be made that since the IUD only interferes with the environment in which a fertilized egg is to thrive, rather than acting specifically against the fertilized egg, then the IUD doesn’t actually kill the “person.” however, that argument creates problems. Would it also not be “killing” a person outside the womb if they die as a result of another party creating a life-threatening environment in which they then compel the other person to stay? Your argument implies that this would not be considered killing, but I think we can all agree that it is killing. I see no reason why the language of this law would prevent people from applying this logic to the manner in which a copper IUD works.

        This same logic could be used to make even hormonal birth control illegal. It’s true that hormonal birth control works be preventing ovulation, but it sometimes fails to prevent that ovulation. In that circumstance the egg may become fertilized. If the hormonal birth control is doing its job, it has also made the uterus an environment in which it is difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. Given that possibility, some could argue that even hormonal birth control would be “killing” persons.

        That leaves barrier methods, which are effective, but more prone to failure than an IUD or hormonal birth control. And, importantly, the diaphragm (women’s barrier option) is a less effective option than other contraception options. Which leaves women more susceptible to their partner responsibly using a condom. When we’re talking about responsible and considerate men, this might be an option, but there are far too many women in situations where their partners are not trustworthy. And then that truly abhorrent clause about rape kicks in.

        The upshot? Sorry women. You’re screwed because you don’t matter as much as a fertilized egg. There is no defense of such legislation.

      • mraynes says:

        This is one of the major problems with the law, Nate. It is so vague that it can be interpreted to outlaw common forms of birth control. The person I talked to at the Yes on 62 campaign was politically savvy enough to say that this might not be the outcome but also had to concede when pressed that it could be.

        The real problem is that it puts medical providers in a tight spot. Even if IUDs were not specifically outlawed in January 2011 when I needed one, my midwife could not provide one for me for fear that she would be taken to court for breaking the law or given a hefty fine. So whether or not IUDs are explicitly illegal this law prevents women from getting the birth control of their choice.

    • Kmillecam says:

      Really, JoAnna? You’re going to play the rape card without understanding something as basic as “consent”? It’s not rape if you want to have sex, want to have an IUD, or want to have a procedure where someone needs to examine your reproductive organs. But my guess is that you know that, and you are being willfully ignorant to make a poor point.

      • Nate Curtis says:

        I see.

        The ambiguity does give them the legal room to at least sue. They can then use the threat of litigation to force insurance companies to not cover potentially illegal medical treatments.

        I am surprised the insurance companies are not fighting this political movement harder. They would prefer that everyone (men and women) get access to any and all birth control. Pregnancy is really expensive for them.

      • amelia says:

        Me, too, Nate. It’s completely in the interest of insurance companies to give birth control to anyone who wants it completely free. What this whole thing boils down to is that there are those people out there who believe that if people are having sex, they should be having babies, too. And that it’s wrong to interfere with that “natural” process. In Santorum’s words, contraception is dangerous because “it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

        I have absolutely no problem with people thinking that. For themselves. The problem is that they want to decide what is right for themselves and then force everyone else to live the same way. And they hide their bigotry and desire to control behind their alleged concern for life and scream “baby killer” at people who disagree with them. As a result, women and children pay the highest cost, a cost that actually does destroy lives, too. Somehow these “pro-life” people who want to dictate to others how to live don’t give a tinker’s damn about the lives of women and children after they’re born. Ultimately they care so much about their sanctimonious self-righteousness and that they are on God’s Side that they fail to even bother to consider how their policies affect real people.

  12. Amber says:

    Mraynes,

    I can’t quite express all that I want to say because so much of what you have written could describe me. I have crippling depression and anxiety that increases with pregnancy. On top of that, I get deathly ill from pregnancy which adds a multitude of complications to the mix. If it weren’t for birth control, I don’t think I would be alive today. I wish that men and women (who are also helping this debate along, as I’ve sadly come across) would stop labeling birth control users with things like “slut” and “promiscuous” because they clearly don’t have sociological or rational evidence behind such awful statements.

    • Mraynes says:

      I’m so sorry about the depression and difficult pregnancies, Amber. I think it is so important to share our experiences so that our reproductive freedom isn’t taken away. Thank you for sharing yours!

  13. Jessawhy says:

    MRaynes,
    Thanks for this excellent description of society’s war on women. It’s hard to imagine how this is still happening in a world where we have so many advances in technology and science.

    I’m glad you’re shining a light on this important topic and can’t wait for part two!

  14. Nate Curtis says:

    Thank you for the post M. Your point is well-taken.

    As a side note, with these hardships and uncertainty, why not consider a vasectomy? It is safe, permanent, more reliable than any non-surgery option for women, and most insurance plans cover 100% of the cost for a vasc.

    What better way for men to join the fight than taking responsibility for pregnancy

    Speaking from experience, the pain is no more than getting a cavity filled, even if the procedure is a bit more…awkward.

    If you still might want more kids down the road, throw some sperm in the freezer for use later on. The cost for such practices has really come down.

    • Diane says:

      Your solution of having vasectomies helps those women who are married and have decided with their partner that they are 1) done expanding their family and or 2) Know they don’t want to have children at all

      Secondly, you have also missed the point with respect to women who are in committed relationships and who are single but use birth control to help other medical problems. In other words Vasectomy wouldn’t have helped me one bit.

      • Nate Curtis says:

        The inquiry was intended for the author, not the general public. From her post, she appears to be done having children, and in a committed relationship.

        Although, I am a huge fan of vasectomies, it is not a viable solution for everyone. I do wish men were more open to the idea.

      • Amelia says:

        That “open to the idea” is a major sticking point. I know perfectly reasonable and thoughtful men, men who want to take in to consideration their wives’ needs, who nonetheless adamantly refuse to even entertain the notion of a vasectomy. It may be a good option for Mraynes and Mr. Mraynes, but there a lots and loss of situations in which it’s not an option.

    • mraynes says:

      Thanks for the advice, Nate. I think a vasectomy is in our future but we have yet to make a firm decision on a fourth child so for the time being the IUD is working.

      I read an article today about birth control for men in use in India that sounds really interesting. It essentially blocks the sperm with a gel insert, lasts for ten years and can be easily removed with a saline solution. From the article it sounds amazing but is unlikely to be used in the United States because it won’t make pharmaceutical companies a profit. Here’s the article:
      http://techcitement.com/culture/the-best-birth-control-in-the-world-is-for-men/

  15. Sarah says:

    Joanna in response to your comment “I find it disturbing that you would prefer to have invasive objects placed in your uterus (don’t pro-choicers consider that rape?)”

    Joanna, I believe you are confusing “against will” in your comment. There is a proposed law that a woman who has an abortion needs to listen to the fetal heartbeat before the abortion occurs. Because the fetus is so small at that point, however, the ultrasound needs to be done internally. This is done by having a probe inserted into the vagina. If this law would be passed and a woman did not wish to have the vaginal probe ultrasound done then according to the FBI definition of rape. That is rape by our Government.

    “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object”

    In response to Mraynes – I am 36 years old I never imagined that woman would have to fight this battle again. I think that most people did take this for granted and by seeing the actions in the past few months it makes me question what other freedoms and choices can be taken from us. It is absolutely terrifying. I thought that after a battle was fought that we would not have to return to it. I was very wrong about that. I am saddened to see how much our country and our society is regressing and sadly, this is just one example of that.

  16. alex w. says:

    Thank you.

    I think I’ve subconsciously started to step back from this issue lately because it makes my head spin and makes me stressed. As a newlywed with a low-paying job and no healthcare, I hate feeling like a pawn in a game a bunch of men are playing with my reproductive rights. I don’t want to be helpless when it comes to my own body. And dammit, I want an IUD.

  17. amelia says:

    For those interested in the development of the war on women, this is a very interesting read:

    http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/gop-women-problem-2012-4/

    It tracks the evolving attitudes and polices of the GOP re: women. Definitely worth reading.

  18. Ziff says:

    Great post, mraynes! I’m sorry that some of the war on women has the potential to make your life so difficult; I’m glad you’ve turned this fact, though, into writing such an excellent critique.

  19. Erin says:

    Didn’t Margaret Sanger fight this fight, oh, I don’t know, nearly a *century* ago?!

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