Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The morning after pill as economic exploitation

Posted by Pamela Pilch at HMS:

[W]omen are being economically exploited by the morning after pill. Because women can only become pregnant for a few days per cycle, many women will use the morning after pill on days on which they couldn't have gotten pregnant anyway. For each dose of the morning after pill, they are paying as much as they would pay for a whole month's worth of regular birth control pills ...

This burden will fall most heavily on young girls who are too scared to go to a physician for regular BCPs, but who engage in unprotected sex several times a month. ...

So...women will be ingesting higher levels of hormones, and spending several times as much money, without the monitoring from a doctor that would be required for regular ingestion of lower levels of hormones for less money. ... (Never mind the free availability of NFP, the freedom from doctor visits for monitoring for health risks and the absence of artificial hormones...) ...

Women should be very angry about this. This is not "reproductive health." This is economic exploitation - and the commodification of women's bodies.

I find the argument convincing that providing the MAP over-the-counter to teenagers would provide a way for teens to engage in what they believe is "safe sex" without having to endure the perceived embarassment of talking to an adult. We would further cut teens off from the much needed guidance of parents and trusted elders.

Pilch also makes the good point that the use of the MAP relies on the ignorance of women toward the way their bodies work. Far fewer women would have to purchase and take the MAP if they knew that it wasn't a fertile day! Ironically, the more a women emphasizes the use of her body for purely sexual entertainment the less she needs to know about it. Such a disconnect and use of the body leads to the abuse of "commodification" Pilch mentions.

However, NFP views the person holistically - mind, will, soul and body. Once the body is not merely an instrument of pleasure, the more a person (especially a woman, I think) can see and understand the purpose of the human body. And the more it is respected and appreciated.

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