There's no doubt that access to safe, effective contraception is a green issue. I won't get into population control (leaving that to Arduous!) or greener sex toys (thanks, Crunchy!). But did you know that most voters (even pro-life voters) support access to birth control, even as legislators running for office try to have your health insurance leave your pills out in the cold? I bet every woman reading this has had to pocket uncovered birth control expenses, from (hormone-altering) pills to (copper) IUDs. Yet cost is the least of our worries. Check out this eye-opening article at the Huffington Post from yesterday:
"Polls taken by the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association found that even 80% of self-described "pro-life" voters support access to contraception. Opposition to contraception is the mark of extremism. Yet, to appease their fundamentalist "pro-life" base that vehemently opposes contraception, many elected officials Members of Congress have voted against access to contraception.Virginia, Colorado, Washington State, New Hampshire -- check out her list of battleground states and then visit Birth Control Watch to become a 2 minute activist (among other things, you can join the Parade poll about whether teaching our kids abstinence-only sex ed should continue and join NARAL in asking pharmacists to stock Plan B). As you head to the voting booth this fall, educate yourself about reproductive health issues (many thanks to Cynthia Samuels for her tireless effort to galvanize bloggers on this issue). More is at stake than the cost of safe sex - in some states, whether or not a fertilized egg should have legal rights - in others, whether or not a woman has a right to get her prescription for birth control filled by a pharmacist.
And so in 2008 pro-choice candidates have begun to paint those who oppose contraception as extremists. This election cycle marks the first time since the legalization of contraception that access to birth control has become a campaign issue. In tight races, the issue may prove decisive." (Cristina Page gives a lowdown in this post about the House, Senate, and gubernatorial races in which birth control's become a major issue).
In my view, the debate should be beyond access to safe birth control and on to developing better birth control...we can send a man to the moon but don't have infallible ways to prevent STDs, pregnancy, and create world peace without mood-and-water-altering hormones? Let's all vote next week in ways that will shift the debate back where it belongs: to the common ground shared by the 80% of us who want women to have access to birth control.