D. Cheshire: Have men face the music

Since the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Roe vs. Wade, the issue of women’s reproductive rights has been front and center in American society. The issue is once again in the headlines due to the Affordable Care Act’s provision that employers provide free contraceptive coverage for their female employees.

Many individuals and organizations that are opposed to a woman’s right to choose are also opposed to birth control for women. Incidentally, most (but not all by any means) of the opponents to women’s reproductive rights are men or organizations run by men.

What I find puzzling is why there is no discussion of men’s reproductive rights. Shouldn't men face the same scrutiny as women when it comes to this very personal issue?

Why is there no hue and cry to stop men from having vasectomies? Does anyone want to stop funding that procedure? Why is there no vocal opposition to men using condoms? Or, on the other hand, when they get a prescription for Viagra or one of the other drugs of that type?

If society is really concerned about those issues, why are women singled out?

These questions are timely, especially now that the University of Kansas, School of Medicine, is on the cusp of introducing a male birth-control pill (Sun Journal, Feb. 26).

It is time that men face the same scrutiny as women.

Donna Cheshire, South Paris

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Jillian Campbell's picture

women having access to birth

women having access to birth control seems like a win-win situation to me!!

Fewer unwanted pregnancies mean fewer abortions, fewer people who will require public assistance(mainecare, foodstamps etc.)and a lot less baby mama drama!

To the people that say "why should i have to pay for someone else's birth control?".. guess what? you don't have to!! it is the INSURANCE COMPANY that will be paying for it. not you OR the government!!

The average price of birth control pills is about $25 a month. Thats a cost of $300 per year per woman. The cost to give birth in a hospital can range anywhere from $7000-$20000. Providing birth control won't cause premiums to go up.. if anything, it will save the companies money!

Anywho...bottom line is that any man can walk away from a pregnancy with nothing more to worry about than having the state take part of their pay check every week. And no, i am not saying ALL men do this,I am just saying that the option is always there for those that choose to go that route. Women however, do not have that choice. Anybody that has been present through a woman's pregnancy and birth will know that it isn't exactly a basket of butterflies and fairy dust. A woman should have the access to preventative healthcare that will allow her to have control over her life and body.

Steve  Dosh's picture

D. Cheshire: Have men face the music

Donna , March 5, 2012 4 pm hst • 
We use condoms and L o v e music . Scrutinize all you like . ..
/s, Dr. Dosh and ohana
b t w - post a picture . ...it's E Z ( just a suggestion :)

 's picture

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act requires that rules be developed for preventive care. This rule was created under that provision.
1. All religious institutions are exempted.
2. All institutions that take Federal money and are affiliated with a religious organization are exempted from paying for contraceptives.
3. Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition by insurance companies. Private insurance Companies are the sole insurance companies covered by these provisions.
Therefore, no 1st amendment issue is involved. Government is only establishing the minimum conditions under which private insurance companies can engage in this marketplace which is government's correct and proper role.
Only those that hate women, hate sex, or can't deal with either think this is an issue. The SCOTUS settled this as an issue almost 50 years ago. Its settled law.

 's picture

Just curious...

How do those who wish to dictate how a woman uses her body feel about artificial insemination?

 's picture

I'm OK with it, as long as

I'm OK with it, as long as the woman doesn't turn around and demand a publicly funded artificial abortion.

 's picture

A grand consensus of scientists believes that ...

... sex is the leading cause of pregnancy. Here's a bulletin: sex has consequences and therefore responsibilities. Both people involved share in the responsibility to deal with the consequences, perhaps even ahead of time. What a concept.

What's going on is at least one of those involved is demanding that someone else pick up the responsibility by paying higher insurance premiums so that contraceptive "care" can be "covered" and provided "free".

Jason Theriault's picture

Dollars and sense.

First off, grand consensus of scientists believes that while both people involved share in the responsibility to deal with the consequences, that alot of the time, only one party truly gets f***ed.

And it will pay for itself. Hell, the government should hand out birth control. Comparing the costs for unwed mothers on assistance programs vs the costs of birth control is no contest. So if you truly want to limit the people on MaineCare roles, this is a no-brainer.

 's picture

The government already does

The government already does hand out birth control. It's called Planned Parenthood. Maybe they don't have an office within walking distance of Georgetown Law School.

Jason Theriault's picture

Good try

Planned Parenthood is not part of the government. They are a private organization. And they only provide condoms free.

Good try.

 's picture

Lighten up.

PP is part of the government in the same way GM is. Question in the mode of Limbaugh: What do you call a company that takes money to climb in bed with the government?

Jason Theriault's picture

Oh, in the mode of Limbaugh...okay then

So should I cut to the chase and call you a slut?

And what do I call a company that takes money to climb in bed with the government?

RONALD RIML's picture

The Companies that

The Companies that "Line up the Dates" with the Government are called Lobbyists.....

"K Street Pimps"

Jason Theriault's picture

A few things....

Your letter is all over the place.

One - The Catholic church considers a vasectomy a sin.

Two - DO NOT MENTION VIAGRA. Erectile dysfunction if a medical condition. Yes, men with ED can survive without Viagra. Just like women who have mastectomies can survive without have cosmetic surgery. But it's about feeling as normal as possible.

Contraceptives(when used a contraceptives, not for conditions like menorrhagia) do not fix anything. A male birth control pill should be treated the same.

That said, I think insurance should cover it. It's expensive enough that it should be covered, and as it prevents pregnancy, which can cost insurance companies upwards of $10K-$20K, that's a hell of a savings.

But more importantly, it's an issue of control. Now, I am surmising here(being a guy), but I can see why women are up in arms over this. In trying to level the playing field between men and women, birth control is a great tool. A man's career never hinged on getting knocked up. However, a woman gets pregnant, and it can derail her entire professional future, especially if it's unexpected. And before anyone says "don't have sex", think about this - Have YOU ever had sex where having a kid being the outcome would have been disastrous?

Steve Bulger's picture

A little clarification?

"Many individuals and organizations that are opposed to a woman’s right to choose are also opposed to birth control for women." Of the "Many" opposed to a woman's "right" to end the life of an unborn child, some are not opposed to birth control - they are opposed to being forced to pay for it.
What are "men’s reproductive rights"?? Are you referring to the "right" to see your wife/partner/significant other abort your progeny without having any say in the matter?? Or, perhaps, is it "responsibilities" to which you allude? If that is the case then, yes, there are far too many men who do not take responsibility for their offspring. On the other hand, if you are referring to male contraceptives, that topic should be resolved BEFORE any activity takes place. It DOES take two to tango.
Bottom line? I'm unsure what point you are trying to make here.
B/T/W, if I wanted to obtain some male ED medication - Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, I would have to pay for it myself since my healthcare insurer does not carry it in the formulary approved by my employer...even though my wife could obtain birth control pills under my insurance. So forgive me if I don't empathize with women who have to pay out-of-pocket for contraceptives.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great post, Steve.

Great post, Steve.

 's picture

SCOTUS did not rule ...

... that contraceptive products and services must be "free" to those who use them. My car must have an oil change at regular intervals, but I don't expect my car insurance to "cover" routine maintenance, nor do I expect my neighbor to be required to help pay my bills.

Betty Davies's picture

Do you prefer not to have any sort of preventive medical care?

Are you saying that health insurance policies should not cover any sort of preventive care, such as mammograms, flu shots, colonoscopies, or prescriptions for routine insulin and thyroid medication?

Or are you simply objecting to routine services that affect women's reproduction?

Jason Theriault's picture

When did the SCOTUS get

When did the SCOTUS get involved on this issue?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

..."why are women singled

..."why are women singled out?"...
"That's easy", said the parrot. "Cuz they're doing all the squawking."

 's picture

A friend sent me this and I thought of you.

A pirate walked into a bar, and the bartender said, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. What happened? You look terrible."
"What do you mean?" said the pirate, "I feel fine."
"What about the wooden leg? You didn't have that before."
"Well," said the pirate, "We were in a battle, and I got hit with a cannon ball, but I'm fine now."
The bartender replied, "Well, OK, but what about that hook? What happened to your hand?"
The pirate explained, "We were in another battle. I boarded a ship and got into a sword fight. My hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook but I'm fine, really."
"What about that eye patch?"
"Oh," said the pirate, "One day we were at sea, and a flock of birds flew over. I looked up, and one of them sh&$ in my eye."
"You're kidding," said the bartender. "You couldn't lose an eye just from bird sh&$."
"It was my first day with the hook."

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hahaha...that's my favorite

Hahaha...that's my favorite pirate story of all time.

Steve Bulger's picture


that pirate didn't have a parrot looking out for him. :-)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There are rumors out there

There are rumors out there that the bird responsible for the droppings in the pirate's eye may not have been a sea-gull,after all.


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