01 June 2007

the first of many feminist rants

I heard a piece yesterday on NPR about the Pill. It was an interesting story, mostly about the development of the Pill and how the Pill completely altered contraception as we know it. Something about the piece ignited my feminist feelings, which are probably ignited too frequently.

You see, as it turns out, the Pill has been around for about 40 years, but most prescription plans did not cover the pill until just a few years ago. Why is that? Because health care companies (and the world in general) are run by men. Men felt that contraception should not be covered. Which, frankly, does not make sense since the Pill is substantially cheaper than the medical costs of having a baby, or a dozen babies for that matter. But, I digress. Men didn't feel it necessary to cover the cost of contraception because it was (is) women who deal with the consequences, not the men.

So, why the sudden change? Viagra. That's right, the first drug to treat erectile dysfunction (commonly known ad ED, in case you haven't heard enough television commercials) opened up prescription drug coverage for contraceptives. How? Well, it shouldn't be surprising that the men who run health care companies decided that Viagra was worth covering under most health care plans, and they basically got forced into covering birth control as well.

Thank you for letting me rant.

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