Ladies Who Can't Afford Birth Control Should Just Google It, Says Legislator

Today's dispatch from the Dudes Who Know Nothing About Birth Control Giving Birth Control Advice Ledger: a Wisconsin Senator thinks that if a woman can't afford birth control, she should just Google it. And then, somehow, the women who previously could not afford birth control, not no way, not no how, will be able to obtain it at a reasonable price. The internet is so wonderful.

Advertisement

Tea Party-backed Senator Ron Johnson was asked about the affordability of birth control at an Americans for Prosperity summit in Milwaukee. Scott Keyes, a reporter from Think Progress, asked Johnson why he opposed mandatory insurance coverage for birth control pills, since one in three women have reported being unable to afford contraception. At this point, Ron Johnson let the reporter in on a little secret: it's called "The Inter-Net," and it's got all the answers. Here's the enlightening exchange,

TP: What do we say to the millions of women who can't afford access to birth control?
JOHNSON: My wife actually went online here in Wisconsin and typed in, "what if I can't afford birth control?" Came up, bam. If you can't afford it, you can get birth control in this country. That's a straw-dog argument. There's no conservative who's trying to deny women health care or contraceptives. We're just saying this is an issue of religious freedom. [...]
TP: What do you mean, "if you can't afford it you can get it?"
JOHNSON: You can get it. Go online, type it in. It's easy to get.

So, by Senator Johnson's estimation, the path to affordable birth control is as follows:
1. Realize you can't afford birth control.
2. Google "what if I can't afford birth control?" but do it in Wisconsin, where the internet is fresher.
3. ~*iNtErNeT mAgIc*~
4. Birth control arrives in the mail the very next day along with a note that reads, "Hey, heard you needed this. Love, Mr. Google."

On a related note, a quick Google search of the phrase "straw dog argument" redirected me to a page for "straw man argument."

Goddamn it, Wisconsin. Get it together. You're becoming the Arizona of the Upper Midwest.

Sen. Johnson's advice to women who can't afford contraception: Google 'what if I can't afford birth control?' [Think Progress]

DISCUSSION

drunkexpatwriter
DrunkExPatWriter

It's often been said that "a Republican is a Democrat who has been mugged" or "a Republican is a Democrat who got rich."

What hasn't been said before, but is just as commonly true, is "a Republican is a Democrat who has had a baby."

And, honestly, I can see why this happens even if I don't agree with it. The world is a scary place and there is a natural instinct to protect your children from it as much as you can. It's probably natural to worry that lots of images of sexuality might motivate your daughter to make mistakes and get pregnant while she's a teen. You might get paranoid that if exposed to enough homosexual imagery your teenage son might get seduced by an older dude - putting him at risk of having to deal with feelings and risks at an age that he's not ready for them yet. These feelings aren't rational at all - but I can see where they are coming from - and it's not always a slut shaming or homophobic place. It's often just parental paranoia.

And, that's why a lot of women were on board with the GOP abstinence only education stuff. It's why they were even on board with the idea of making birth control less accessible to teens. And, in many cases, I bet that a lot of pro-choice women were in favor of parental notification laws on teenage abortions - not because they were against abortion itself, but because if their young daughter is going to go through what could be a very traumatic experience they want to be there for them.

But, the GOP didn't get this. They saw that female voters were on board with a lot of their anti-sex stuff and thought that meant that the female voters were on the Christian anti-sex bandwagon. They didn't realize that lots of these women are probably very pro-sex in their own lives. They only bought the ticket when it was in the context of protecting their children from ideas and situations they were uncomfortable with their children being exposed to.

Because the GOP misunderstood what was really going on they decided to expand the anti-sex message beyond the initial scope of trying to scare teenage girls and boys away from trying dick. They started expanding it to making it difficult for adults to get dick - but lots of female voters love dick in their own lives and want control of their bodies. While they might not want their teenagers to get laid - they want to get laid themselves.

And so, women are fleeing the GOP in droves. And Santorum and people like this guy don't get it. In their minds they are just building on ideas that worked politically in the past. But, because they never asked themselves why these ideas worked then, they don't get why it's not working now.