The Difference Between Birth Control and Viagra

Remember how, a while ago, I said I had become much more of a feminist since my daughter was born?  Since then, I’ve found myself getting angry about things that infringe on women’s rights.  Take for example, all this hubbub about birth control and abortions.

Slut PillsI have an honest, sincere question addressed to all the Rush Limbaughs, the Catholic Pope, and all the ultra-conservatives against providing birth control to women:

What is the difference between the birth control pill and Viagra?

I’m not the only one who has this question, so let’s address it.  On the surface, both appear to make it easier for the patient to have sex.  But that’s about it.  If we want to talk about “fairness” in regards to giving people the option to have sex, let’s talk about insurance coverage.  Viagra was almost immediately covered by many insurance providers.  Birth control pills weren’t offered similar coverage for over 40 years.  Interestingly, it was the advent of Viagra that gave the push needed to finally get birth control covered.  It was a glaringly obvious question: why should insurance providers cover Viagra, but not birth control?  As usual, the answer is money.  Viagra doesn’t need to be taken every day, indefinitely.  Fortunately, there was enough of an uproar that laws were passed to ensure companies offering coverage on Viagra had to also offer coverage of birth control.

Despite insurance companies being forced to realize this blatant double standard, there is still a vocal group of people who somehow consider birth control immoral.  A big opposing voice to birth control comes from the Catholic Church.  According to these celibate men in Italy, sex only counts if you’re okay with procreating.  To be fair, the Catholic Church is against all birth control, so those old men on Viagra better not have vasectomies!  And none of them better masturbate, ever, because that would be wasteful!

And then, there are the people like Rush Limbaugh.  Women taking birth control are clearly going to sleep around with every man they happen to see.  Men taking Viagra, on the other hand, are old and therefore married.  They’ll only be sleeping with their wives.  And interns.  And those hot young sluts on birth control.  These people must have been very disappointed when the Supreme Court ruled that all women should have access to birth control, regardless of marital status (yup, it took the Supreme Court to decide that).

So, there are clearly a lot of reasons why women should not have control over their reproductive rights.  Just ask Rush Limbaugh, the celibate men in Italy, and health insurance providers.  But there’s one BIG reason that birth control should be available to any woman that wants it.  Interestingly, the reason has nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.

The hormonal birth control has a lot of other potential benefits.  Birth control pills can help with acne, PMDD, and provide protection against cervical, uterine and ovarian cancers.  The known health benefits of Viagra include: …  … …   Well, when I Googled it, I got a lot of ucky stuff.  Maybe it can help with cardiovascular health (that was actually the original purpose of Viagra, ‘till the nurses noticed the old men enjoying themselves) and possibly even prostate issues, though there’s very little data.

Well, I guess we now know why Viagra is okay and birth control is not.  Glad we got that cleared up.  Thanks, everybody!

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