I apologize that this post is going to be a bit slap-dash. I have to run off to meetings in a few minutes, where I’ll be pretty much all day. But this was on my mind.
So, why do I think hormonal contraception should be covered by medical insurance? Because it’s a medication that requires a prescription, as it should remain. Because it carries risks that should be monitored by a medical provider. Because managing its use is a medical issue.
Yes, one might argue that keeping women from getting pregnant is a lifestyle choice, not a medical problem. Fair enough. But then again, so much of what medical doctors do is essentially about maintaining lifestyles.
Or shall we stop prescribing Lipitor for patients who clearly have no intention of ever shopping in the produce department? Shall we withhold labetalol from patients who are perfectly content being hypertensive and sedentary? Are those recurrent sinus infections an indicator that the patient should stop smoking already, and am I depriving him of an important moral lesson by doling out the amoxicillin? And don’t even get me started on anti-retrovirals for AIDS.
We all, to some extent or another, have to pay for the choices of other people, disagreeable to some of us as they may be. As I understand it, that is part of being in what we call a “society.” If that makes you want to go Galt, well… I guess we’ll miss you.
And finally, though my time in the heterosexual dating world was fleeting and preposterous, from what I observed men and women pretty equally wanted to have non-procreative sex. (Those of you who dispute this are invited to spend an hour channel-surfing and report back. Skip C-SPAN.) Sadly, through divine design or the vagaries of evolution, the risks of recreational sex are borne disproportionately by women. Providing easy access to effective contraception is a way that we as a society (there’s that word again) have of making that disproportionate risk more equitable. Silly addle-brained liberal that I am, I happen to think that’s a good thing.
And now I’m off to five hours of meetings. Have fun without me!