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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Barefoot and Pregnant.

I usually don't address topics on my blog, but the recent issues over birth control have me a bit rattled. In high school - many years ago for me, we had a wonderful teacher Mrs. Brisel. They were not allowed to teach birth control in class, but she would announce during health class you could see her after school. She probably single handed prevented more teen pregnancies than anyone I know. She would tell you what was available and where to go, and would give you the number and address of  the free clinic in Riverhead - she was non judgemental, she only cared about YOU. I will be forever grateful for her advice and information. About that time we had Roe VS. Wade, laws were passed and birth control became available for everyone, insurance covered it too. And now, the executives from Hobby Lobby are opening the doors to the 17th century. It opens the gates for other companies to follow suit,drop kicking women back to the dark ages I've had people tell me that women should pay for their own birth control - why? If people smoke or drink should they pay for their own cancer? If they drive a car should they pay for any injuries they incur? And if the insurance will pay for you to have a baby, why not pay for you not to?And like the executives from that chain, a great deal of those against birth control are religious people and men. I love the "God Said" approach - REALLY? I don't think so and even if you can squeeze that one out of your religious text let me remind you they also stoned people, fed them to the lions and hung them from crosses - you could also go around counter eye poking -if those things don't apply now, why should the restrictions on pro-creation still be here?.. You can't just go around picking and choosing what God Said and what you choose to follow.  And that is THEIR beliefs - if I work for a Muslim should they be able to dictate I wear a burka? If your boss is a Buddhist should you put the ham sandwich down? Times have changed drastically changed since the dawn of religion. You cannot have 8 or 9 children and hope to support them if you don't live on a farm and produce your own stuff - and you're successful at it.. Women WORK for the same reason men do, we have to  - I mean honestly, what guy has the means these days to support umpteen kids on one salary? And  survival wise, you don't need that many anyhow, one of the things that has very much improved is our health care, especially in pediatrics. I love old graveyards but the next time you're  in one take a close look at the stones, you'll see multiple children from one family.I was in one recently from the 1800's and there were five little graves from one family.Very few children survived childhood in those days - that  particular family got hit six times total (one was a double headstone). If you really want to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions, pass laws that EVERY man must be 100% responsible for any offspring he produces and be willing to  take them full time at the mother's discretion. And before you holler Foul keep in mind that's how it is for women now, isn't it? If the father refuses to pay child support or makes the choice not to have anything to do with that kid, you can chase him around legally but the bottom line is there are a large number of men that do not pay or see their children and there are plenty of women struggling with that. When the baby comes unless a woman is willing to give the child up for adoption and never see it again, she does not have that option to drop out of financial and parental responsibility and be able to just show up years later when she feels like it.Let's face it, birth control has done far more for women than limit the amount of children she has - it's given us educational and financial freedom, the right to live our lives the way WE decide, not the Moron Squad from Hobby Lobby or any other institution.  I had a patient years ago, an elderly woman who asked me how many children I had  - I said two and asked her. She said seven. I told her I was so impressed!, I could not imagine being able to handle that many kids. She gently placed her hand on my knee and looked at me, she said "Sweetheart in those days we didn't have a choice, you had to have the babies". She went on to say she loved her children very much and would not trade one of the them, but given the choice she probably would not have had so many. So, I have no problem at all paying for birth control and will continue to speak out. And anyone with too many children - feel free to drop it a the home of anyone at Hobby Lobby, I'm sure they won't mind.

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