Economy or Contraception?
I get so annoyed with the shoddy writing, careless arguments, and unreliable research of mainstream journalists that I’ve been canceling my subscriptions left and right (pun intended). The only two EngIish-language subscriptions I have left now are The London Review of Books and The Nation.
Today, I open The Nation and try to accompany a raspberry mocha with the perusal of some interesting political commentary. And what do I find on Page 1? The following profound insight regarding Sandra Fluke’s Congressional testimony: “For most women, it is the economy, not contraception, that is the paramount concern.”
Headdesk, headdesk, headdesk.
It is only in the confused mind of this journalist that the recent discussions about contraception and the state of the economy have somehow ended up as completely different and even competing concerns. Everybody else (if we are going to generalize anyways, then I’m entitled to my generalizations) has managed to notice that the issue is precisely whether women with limited financial means will have access to contraception through their employers’ insurance.
Contraception is and always was indissolubly linked to the economy. A certain segment of the population will always be able to buy contraceptives, no matter how expensive they get and travel to an abortion clinic that is located in another state or even abroad. The war on contraception does not affect us all equally, which is why choosing whether we care more about the economy OR the contraception is completely useless.
While contraception is linked to the economy, the connection works the other way round, too. For women, the only way to acquire the simple capacity to compete in the market is to have constant and reliable access to contraception. Undermining women’s access to contraception equals removing women as valid competitors for jobs and resources. As a woman, you can’t care about the economy without caring about contraception. It’s physiologically impossible.