Friday, February 17, 2012

An aspirin for birth control? We are not laughing.

Foster Friess
We at First Mother Forum are rather riled by the current controversy on contraception, and have felt the need to write about it, detouring for a few posts here about what is quite simply, bugging us like crazy. It's not enough the all the conservative religious leaders are lined up on the side of making it more difficult for employees of religious institutions to get birth control; now a wealthy investment manager, Foster Friess, and a major backer of Rick Santorum, has injected himself into the fray with a vulgar adolescent joke.

His prescription for birth control? An aspirin. "Back in my days, they used aspirin for contraceptives." he said. "The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly." 


After an uproar, Friess apologized "to those who misunderstood my joke." Presidential candidate Rick Santorum called his comment a "stupid joke." Ha Ha. Here is Friess's apology:
 "Last week my joke at the Conservative Political Action Conference generated laughter and media attention. Today on Andrea Mitchell’s show, my aspirin joke bombed as many didn’t recognize it as a joke but thought it was my prescription for today’s birth control practices. In fact, the only positive comments I got were from folks who remembered it from 50 years back. Birth control pills weren’t yet available, so everyone laughed at the silliness on how an aspirin could become a birth control pill.

"After listening to the segment tonight, I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable. To all those who took my joke as modern day approach I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness." 
Stuff it, Friess. We're only a tad younger than you and we remember this joke and the only people who thought it funny were men like yourself who never left adolescence. The joke is a crude way of saying that to avoid pregnancy, women ought to avoid sex. Of course you didn't suggest the same prescription for men.

A few minutes after I copied and pasted Friess's apology, it was removed from his site. Possibly someone in the Santorum campaign realized Friess' apology was a bad as his original comment. Santorum himself opposes all birth control. He has seven children, but fortunately has made a million dollars a year since he was booted from the Senate by the citizens of Pennsylvania.
Remember the Ladies

Friess also told CNN last night that Catholic-affiliated institutions didn't need to provide birth control assistance because birth control was readily available. Which is another idiotic comment. For a price, so are foie gras and Cadillac Escalades. Clearly he was clueless that birth control pills can take a good bite out of the budget of a low income family, and are sometimes prescribed for reasons other than contraception. Meanwhile a Congressional Committee convened a group of male clerics to advise it on contraception.  I doubt that they will mention the one sure-fire way to prevent pregnancy--although it has worked well for Catholic priests: Have sex with someone of your own gender.

 A Promiscuous Woman, aka Jane
I expect to hear another popular election year Republican refrain soon--that the ills of today are due to women having children "outside the bonds of marriage." Yes, it those ladies who can't keep their legs closed that cause poverty. Certainly not greedy Wall Street brokers, manufacturers outsourcing jobs, inequitable tax burdens, our outlandish salaries for the very few, the one eighth of the one percent.

Perhaps these men need to read a January report from the Institute of Medicine, an independent group of doctors and researchers. The report notes that in 2008, about half of all pregnancies in the United States were unplanned, and 42 percent of the unintended pregnancies ended in abortion. When the use of birth control went up, rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion fell. Co-pays prevented some women from using contraception. Cost can vary from $15-$50 a month.

Another loose woman, aka Lorraine
Additionally, birth control pills are also used to treat menstrual problems, some migraine headaches, acne, pelvic pain, excessive hair growth and other conditions. They can also reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease and some benign breast diseases. Risks and side effects from contraceptives are minimal. Death rates from pregnancy are higher than those from birth control, except among smokers who take birth control pills.

When it's pointed out to these sanctimonious hypocrites that lack of easily available birth control may have something to do with high birth rates among poor women, they (and this includes Pres. Obama) will offer women a solution that not only suitably punishes women for their sins but meets the needs of their better off childless constituents--adoption. We don't need to spread the wealth; spreading the children will do. It's a given that presidential candidate Mitt Romney will insist upon it.

Those of us who have been down this road, women who didn't grip aspirin with our knees, but ended up pregnant and gave up our children need to let these guys know that they American women deserve more than a stupid joke, with or without an apology. How about a program to help women obtain and pay for contraceptives? And an effective program to help struggling families. --Jane and lorraine
_____________________
Uproar over Santorum backer contraception quote 
Beyond pelvic politics
Romney urges single woman to give up her baby--or be outcast from LDS

You might also like: Bishops bally-hoo over over birth control is a blow against my freedoms

5 comments :

  1. Anonymous said...

    Very good points made for birth control. My question to these dumb ass men why is always a woman's responsibility to keep from getting pregnant? It takes two
    and both parties should be held responsible.
    I believe in birth control and think it should be given to any woman who wants it free. Even teens most especially teens along with parents approval of course.
    It certainly should be given as readily as viagara for those who can't make it work without that pill. Again, it's all about
    them and their penis.

    Anybody having problems with seeing the letters now required to post. Very hard to read for me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry about the letters. We have no control over them and do not see them, but I notice at some blogs that the letters are a mess and hard to figure out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm 65 yrs old and that aspirin 'joke' was not lost on me nor what it meant. Is the same as "You should've kept your legs closed". Foster Freiss is a disgusting old pig! I wonder if Mr. Freiss has any daughters and/or grandaughters...does he tell them just to put an aspirin between their knees? Just when you thought the bad old days could never be revisited again...slam, bang, thank you ma'am!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why doesn't the joke go like this?

    Know what's a good for birth control?

    A zipper.

    A zipper?

    Yes, the guy keeps his up.

    Now isn't that a scream?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I never heard this joke before I'm just a few years younger or maybe it's because I was the nerdy kid who never got any of those kinds of jokes back then,(I'm a reunited firstmother). Yeah, it's stupid, but sorry if I think it's funny. I thought it was a take on"I have a headache,dear" Well, I've been having trouble getting my daughter to answer my calls. I know she's busy, but frustrated doesn't begin to describe it. So after months I decided to try one more time and bought a Tracphone. Surprise,she answered and when she realized it was me she didn't sound thrilled but politely talked to me for a few minutes and then said she had to go and would call back. Never did. I heard my grandson chirping in the background,happily cooing and babbling and she said "All is well" I hope I dont' have to buy a new tracphone every time I want to talk to her. I'd rather just give her the money.

    ReplyDelete

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