Goldstein goes on to describe these conservatives as “opponents of birth control access” and quote several of their opponents as predicting “a disaster for women’s health” if the Right gets its way. The first statement is disingenuous and the second is fallacious. First, aside from certain methods that function by killing an unborn baby, the debate isn’t about prohibiting or punishing the distribution or use of birth control, but forcing Americans to subsidize the distribution or use of birth control. I can’t afford a Ferrari, but that doesn’t mean anyone is denying me “access” to Ferraris.
Second, the “disaster for women’s health” isn’t that contraceptives are too hard to acquire, it’s that society can’t even reach a consensus that promiscuity is something to be discouraged. Schools are teaching kids backwards lessons about sex at younger and younger ages, and the culture’s view of casual sex is all too often indifference at best, or active promotion at worst. Outside of conservative commentary, when was the last time you heard self-control or personal responsibility seriously entertained in a discussion of teen sex or unintended pregnancy?
The real problem is that we can barely even discuss the behavioral aspect of the issue without being met with shrieks about anti-sex, woman-hating puritanism. But if we can’t talk honestly about the fact that actions have consequences or that human beings sometimes need to resist impulse and set gratification aside, we can’t expect to improve any of America’s sexual ills.