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Why allowing employers to control birth control access is outright discrimination

Birth control and the GOP, an epic saga. Month after month they try to take it away, and month after month we fight back and their plans are shut down. Recently, the Trump administration decided that they were going to allow employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception. This attack on the birth control mandate is occurring because about five months ago, President Trump said in the Rose Garden that, “we will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.” But apparently, it is OK to target, bully and silence women, because that is just what this action against rights to birth control is doing.
Allowing employers to deny women coverage of birth control is outright discrimination, as it is singling out a group of people and denying them care. Contraceptive purposes aside, according to the Center for Young Women’s Health, birth control can be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods), menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome, primary ovarian insufficiency and acne. People seeking birth control for these real medical issues should not be denied it simply because their employer says so.
Let’s say someone decides to use birth control for contraceptive purposes. Many on the side of the GOP will argue, “If you can’t afford birth control on your own, then don’t have sex.” This is an interesting statement, since according to the Military Times, “the U.S. Department of Defense spent $41.6 million on Viagra and $84.24 million total on drugs for erectile dysfunction in 2014.” According to CBS News, since 2011, “the bill for covering drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra for active and retired military personnel and eligible family members totaled $294 million.” This prioritization of men’s sexual health, a “burden” when related to women, is a blatant double standard.
Apparently, men can have sex whenever they want, regardless of whether they can afford medical assistance, but women have to be able to afford it on their own to practice safe sex. This may be a shock to some, but it should not be considering how society treats women regarding sex. Men who have sex are glorified and the more women they sleep with, the higher in status they are. However, women who have a lot of sex are called sluts and whores, and those that have little to no sex are called prudes. Therefore, they can’t win. No matter what, they will be judged.
Addressing the religious beliefs against birth control, it is more than OK to say “I can’t do something because of MY religion.” And if birth control goes against your faith, simply don’t use it. However, it is not OK to say “YOU can’t do something because of MY religion.” We live in a country where we have the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose, or to practice none at all. Because everyone has this option, no one else can try to make their religion dominant over another person, or the country as a whole.
It is up to us to stand up to this blatant sexism and discrimination. We must educate people on the nature of birth control and stand up to the legislatures who are either naive or do not care to accept to facts. Birth control is medicine, and no employer should stand in the way of someone getting the healthcare they need simply because of their gender.

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