McCain: ‘Birth Control? Viagra? Uh, I Was Absent That Day’

In response to a statement by one of his top campaign advisors, John McCain was recently asked, “Is it fair that insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control?”

As this video shows, he said, with a nervous laugh, “I certainly do not want to discuss that issue.”

It’s an answer begging for a punch line:
* He’s too old to need birth control, and too hard to need Viagra.
* His campaign pays for the Viagra.
* Politics gets him hard, and no one on the left OR right will sleep with him anyway.

But since we’re on the subject, Senator, here are some other questions about fairness and sex we’d like your opinion on:

* Is it fair that teens can be jailed for having consensual sex with other teens?
* Is it fair that teens having legal sex with each other can be jailed for taking and sending photos of themselves doing it?
* Is it fair that some people become licensed by the state to be pharmacists, and then insist they don’t have to do their job if they hear voices telling them they shouldn’t? (that’s called “religious freedom” or “morality” if you agree, “discrimination” or “disqualified to do your job” if you’re a consumer trying to get your medicine)
* Is it fair that hundreds of hospitals licensed by their states refuse to offer certain legal medical services—based on “moral grounds”? (what if those “moral grounds” precluded giving blacks blood transfusions from white blood?)

Here’s a challenge to all presidential candidates: Commit to every American’s right to effective contraception. Unless, of course, you can name a private event that shapes a person’s life more than becoming a parent. Of course you can’t.

Back in the good old days, the frontier of the war on sex was abortion. Now, like a retreating glacier or wilderness habitat, it’s contraception. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine describes this dramatic change: “Two decades ago, I don’t think there was much of a divide on contraception and family planning. It was one area both sides could agree on as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies. Now it becomes embroiled in philosophical disputes.”

And so we have groups like Americans United for Life, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and the American Life League who are against routine birth control for adults, married or not. The New York Times lists five members of congress who are against various forms of birth control.

Dr. Joseph Stanford, appointed by President Bush in 2002 to the FDA’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee, had recently written: “When fertility (or potential fertility) is deliberately excluded from [sexual relations,] something valuable is lost. A husband will sometimes begin to see his wife as an object of sexual pleasure who should always be available for gratification.”

Dr. Stanford, the 19th century is calling—they want their attitude back. No, wait, it’s the 17th century. Our President actually appointed an anti-birth control guy to a federal committee overseeing birth control policy. For this we give Mr. Bush the Joseph Stalin integrity-in-government award.

But fairness is not the point, because we all know that life isn’t fair. The question is how does an anti-contraceptive (and anti-sex) policy serve our democracy. The answer: very, very badly.

But it does explain federally-funded abstinence training. When Senators like Mr. McCain (and until we hear differently, Senator Obama) are too embarrassed, frightened, or ill-informed to discuss contraception, that’s exactly the position they put our adolescents in.

Our kids are suffering as a result. The stammering, blushing, “no comment” McCain clearly is, too. The difference is, he can afford his own Viagra, his own birth control, and his own ignorance. Our young people—and many of their parents—can’t.


TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , ,


%d bloggers like this: