Women’s Lives Are Not Wedge Issues
Women’s lives are not wedge issues. Women have the ability to make their own health care decisions and their own moral decisions.
Tim Kaine, former Governor of Virginia and candidate for U.S. Senate
I think it stands out in my mind because about two months ago I heard another member of Congress say that access to contraception is a wedge issue. I don’t have a link for you on this, I heard it live and in-person.
The problem I struggle with is that even our supportive elected officials – those who really understand that they have no business getting in between a woman and her doctor – still look at the issue of access to contraception as a side issue, somehow less important than talking about creating jobs.
Contraception allows me to plan my life, achieve my dreams, and become a productive member of society on my own terms. It allowed me to become a mom when I was ready. I have friends who have struggled with this because of contraceptive failures. I don’t know that they ever considered ending their pregnancies, but I know that they would have preferred to put off that pregnancy until a later time, be it after getting a degree or after getting married. Odds are, they both could have achieved this if they had used a more reliable form of birth control – you know, like an IUD perhaps, the kind that had been cost-prohibitive until that section of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act went into effect this month (no thanks to Congressman Akin, or Paul Ryan, for that matter).
There is nothing more fundamental to how I plan and live my life than the ability to control whether and when I become pregnant. It’s far from a wedge issue. It’s the reason that I am, strangely, excited about the campaign rhetoric this year: for the first time in my memory, the candidates for elected office are actually talking about my issues.