March 9, 2012

Solve the birth control controversy by selling the pill over the counter.

Says Nick Gillespie, quoting Virginia Postrel. That's the libertarian analysis. But isn't there some need for a doctor's exam? Obviously, the doctors must think so, and they have so much to gain if Obamacare covers everything. Meanwhile, Instapundit notes that his "wife’s heart attack was probably caused by birth-control pills." You can say the doctor's visits she had didn't prevent that, but would there be even more heart attacks and other calamities if women could just grab these items off the shelf? I have no idea, but then I never liked the idea of taking pills for birth control. Pills change the structure of your body, including your brain, do they not? You become a different person. Not that I thought I was such a wonderful person — back in the pre-self-esteem days — but I wanted to know that whatever I was was really me and not a drug.

116 comments:

MayBee said...

I'm not sure it solves the controversy. The same mandate requires coverage for breast pumps, which are absolutely OTC, non-prescription items.
It is also somewhat unclear whether it covers the morning after pill, which is OTC.
Also, I didn't think the controversy was about the doctors appointment (which will be covered), but paying the $9+/month at all.

damikesc said...

Anything involving hormones is likely best to have somebody who knows a bit about the body to make suggestions.

Visits to renew prescriptions, though, if no problems are apparent seem to be useless.

Chuck66 said...

According to the Democrats, it isn't the availability of birth control pills, its that women shouldn't have to pay for them. That someone else should pay for their birth control.

traditionalguy said...

That is the simple solution. But the Government guys will first require to get a trade group's support/money, and the AMA and the Big Pharma are not going to go away quietly.

T J Sawyer said...

The main reason for requiring prescriptions is that the side effects are so dangerous they need to be explained to the taker by a doctor.

Probably would be illegal to sell such a powerful carcinogen over the counter anyway.

Carol said...

Doctors had no problems "examining" patients and then prescribing either BC pills or HRT for years and years..plus antidepressants for...whatever, just see if they help...

Once the med establishment gets some protocol in their heads, it reall makes no difference whether it's really safe or not. They run with it until they don't.

Freder Frederson said...

Gee, now Reynolds is also a cardiologist? Who knew! And what's funny, is that the post he links to about his wife's heart attack doesn't even mention birth control pills (although it does mention prescription anti-depressants).


What a putz.

bagoh20 said...

"Pills change the structure of your body, including your brain, do they not?"

I don;t think much structure changes, but function sure and that's why pills of all kinds are so popular. Now if they could make some that did change the structure, they would be even more popular.

Everything has side effects, especially freedom, and I'm all for that. Don't fear it my delicate flowers.

Freder Frederson said...

Probably would be illegal to sell such a powerful carcinogen over the counter anyway.

Huh?

I Callahan said...

Right, Freder, he's the putz, and you know more about his wife's ailment than he does.

Heal thyself.

Ivy said...

I see you agree with Santorum on the issue of birth control pills and their effect on the body.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...
Gee, now Reynolds is also a cardiologist? Who knew


Yes, because let's pretend you are a doctor or at all knowledgeable about medicine!

And what's funny, is that the post he links to about his wife's heart attack doesn't even mention birth control pills

From Dr. Helen in the comments;

Docs say perhaps a blood clot got caught in one of these arterial spasms and caused the heart attack. I was on birth control pills at the time and was told that could possibly have caused the blood clot--I have never taken them since.



Oh well, we never expected much from you anyway.

Jay said...

Pills change the structure of your body, including your brain, do they not? You become a different person

Well, they certainly change your horomone levels and often cause weight gain.

bagoh20 said...

If explaining the dangers is the problem, then do it effectively - with advertising. I suggest the E.I.B. Network.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don;t think much structure changes..."

I find it very difficult to understand how all my memories, perceptions, and feelings can be contained in the molecules that are my brain. Apparently, every time someone merely says one word to me, it changes the structure of my brain. That said, infusing these molecules with drugs seems like a very bad idea. It has nothing to do with what the human body evolved to be. But then, I have my coffee in the morning and my glass of wine at night, so what am I talking about?!

John Stodder said...

I wonder if using birth control pills will eventually be shown to change the kind of men women are attracted to.

There are so many studies showing that women are attracted to more aggressive men when ovulating, for instance. Hormones also play a strong role in the bonding women feel after sex.

Does the pill enhance that? Interfere with it? Or turn it into something else entirely?

How many women started a relationship with a man while using birth control, and married him while still using the pill, but then went off the pill and decided they didn't like him anymore.

I realize this is all off topic, but Ann's comment about not wanting to be altered by the medicine prompted me to think about all these recent medical stories about women, hormones and mate choices.

Birth control goggles?

MayBee said...

I always think it's interesting how many people are against processed foods and only want organic produce, yet find the to be perfectly harmless.

John Stodder said...

And isn't it funny that even now, 50+ years after it was introduced, we still call birth control drugs "the pill" or "pills?" When you think about all the pills people take now; but when a woman says "I'm taking the pill," we know she doesn't mean Vicodin or Xanax or Lipitor.

Brent said...

Pills change the structure of your body, including your brain, do they not? You become a different person.

Is he talking about PMS or the pill?

edutcher said...

IIRC, there are a lot of variables in dealing with a woman's reproductive system and we heard about many recalls of birth control methods in the early days, especially IUDs.

MayBee, damikesc, and Chuck are all correct.

One problem here is that the doctrinaire Libertarians, often assumed to be more or less Conservative, line up pretty much with the Lefties on social and foreign policy issues.

Freder Frederson said...

Gee, now Reynolds is also a cardiologist? Who knew! And what's funny, is that the post he links to about his wife's heart attack doesn't even mention birth control pills (although it does mention prescription anti-depressants).

What a putz.


If Freder used his brain (I assume he has one) instead of his mouth and his talking points, he'd know that various birth control methods have been directly or indirectly linked to a great many ailments.

But being an ignorant loudmouth is so much easier.

Jay said...

Isn't this an interesting side effect of the pill?

(CBS) Birth control pills have been tied to several side effects, including nausea, vomiting, cramps, and even hair growth. But a new study suggests another possible side effect women might experience while taking the pill:

Picking men who are duds in the bedroom.


Every idea that the left has mainstreamed has been a disaster.

Not some of them. All of them.

Jay said...

Does the pill enhance that? Interfere with it? Or turn it into something else entirely?


Timely question.

Here is an answer:

Women who have a strong libido should stay off the Pill when choosing a partner, according to a study. On the other hand, the contraceptive could benefit those preferring cosiness to passion, the research claimed.

Scientists discovered there were pros and cons to starting a relationship while on the Pill.

Pill users turned out to be less attracted to their partners and less sexually satisfied.

But they were more likely to be happy with "non-sexual" elements of their relationship, such as support shown by their partner.

On balance, partnerships that began when the woman was on the Pill stood a better chance of lasting.


Again, modern feminism has seen men become the greatest beneficiary.

Canuck said...

Some people drop LSD, eat mushrooms, smoke pot and drink booze but worry about organic food and are scared to take prescription medicine.

ah well. The irony of post-hippy modernity.

I wonder what percentage of commenters on this blog use or have used birth control? I'm guessing 5-10%.

MayBee said...

I wonder what percentage of commenters on this blog use or have used birth control? I'm guessing 5-10%.

Get out of my bedroom, Canuck!

dbp said...

"But then, I have my coffee in the morning and my glass of wine at night, so what am I talking about?!"

Maybe a brain not addled by caffeine or ethanol would want to be addled by the pill.

John Stodder said...

I wonder what percentage of commenters on this blog use or have used birth control? I'm guessing 5-10%.

Can't understand you. Our 12 kids are making too much noise.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what percentage of commenters on this blog use or have used birth control?

Are you including vasectomies?

rcommal said...

I wonder what percentage of commenters on this blog use or have used birth control? I'm guessing 5-10%.

Huh? Really?

Pogo said...

OCPs are quite safe. They have a long history of use, and the side effects and risks are well known.

For most women, as long as you aren't a smoker, the MD visit is more for the Pap smear than any detailed discussion of which OCP to use, or whether.

MD/NP/PA vists are best for the nuances of choices between OCP options, and follow up of complications.

But medicine is a guild and wants to control access to the Holy Prescription as long as possible.

I'm not a total libertarian on this. I don't think people can safely self-prescribe Hunira or chemo or even most cardiac drugs.

But OCPs?
Meh.
An online questionnaire should suffice in weeding out those who should see a "Provider" first. it would save a whole lotta dough and time for women, avoiding that visit. Although tying Pap smears to OCP Rx seems smart from the MD side, for women it's not very fair.

But I speak heresy.

MayBee said...

Some people drop LSD, eat mushrooms, smoke pot and drink booze but worry about organic food and are scared to take prescription medicine.

I know, right? Worrying that your food might not be organic while dropping LSD and taking prescription medicine seems ironic, no?
Much like being all in favor of fetal stem cell as the next big medical cure while being concerned about genetically modified corn.

In reality, it is all very consistent if you realize it's about social justice, at least for the activists.

Pogo said...

"Humira"

rcommal said...

I suppose it depends on how you define "use." I'll grant you that it's likely that the majority (perhaps the vast majority?) of commenters here are male. But even so, and quite apart from condoms and the occasional vasectomy, in a sense couples "use" birth control. (When my husband and I were, I did think of it as "we," in terms of family planning.) Now, I would feel reasonably comfortable in saying that it's likely that it's the women have used more *types*, or at least are more, well, *likely*, to have done so.

MayBee said...

Pogo- I'm not against the idea, but it seems hard to argue both that the pill should be otc and about how hard it is to find the right pill so some women *have* to spend $1,000/year.

I know you aren't making that argument, but it certainly is being made.
It still doesn't solve the political problem at hand.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Sincere question. I havent followed this debate.

Do religious institutions object to paying for birth control pills when they are prescribed for medical reasons I.e. cysts?

I think this talking point came from Fluke's testimony. If they do, that is wrong.

Bender said...

I never liked the idea of taking pills for birth control. Pills change the structure of your body, including your brain, do they not? You become a different person. Not that I thought I was such a wonderful person — back in the pre-self-esteem days — but I wanted to know that whatever I was was really me and not a drug.

YES. You see, those of us "extremists" who do not bow down to the altar of contraceptives are not so evil and anti-woman after all.

How is it respectful of women to say that the naturally-given unaltered state of the bodies of women is so fundamentally inferior that they need to take powerful body-changing chemicals in order to be equal to men?

Pogo said...

"It still doesn't solve the political problem at hand.
"

No, it doesn't.

I was just giving a small opinion about how OCPs might in fact be OTC.

But then it would be very very cheap. And then the argument that other people should pay ofr it makes no sense at all.

But then, that's true of all socialist demands, so such logic will not sway.

MayBee said...

Bill- yes, that talking point came from Fluke. And yes, Catholic institutions, including Georgetown, pay for contraceptive pills if used for non-contraceptive medical reasons.
And just in case you are about to ask, no, they don't cover Viagra.

rhhardin said...

Use the aspirin and birth control pill solution. The aspirin thins the blood and counteracts the clotting effect of the pill.

Renee said...

Still doesn't cover Constitutional issues, but how about the mandate to also cover Fertility Awarness classes by a certified instructor for free!

rcommal said...

I used BCPs (not continuously, but rather at separate times) for only about 1/4 of my adult fertile years (I didn't fool around as a minor), during the vast majority of which I used one form or another (or a combination). I can assure you that it had nothing to do with wanting to be equal with a man or viewing my body as fundamentally inferior. ; )

And yes, yes, I always paid for my own.

Pogo said...

That's a different clotting problem.

Aspirin doesn't affect vein clotting, but arterial clotting.

rcommal said...

"one form or another *of contraception*", that is.

And I do think that, after the initial checkup, prescription and tryout period, that BCP's ought to be OTC and that women would be better served if they were.

I ♥ Willard said...

Well, my wife’s heart attack was probably caused by birth-control pills.

I don't know why Dr. Helen had a heart attack. Neither does she, apparently, based on what she wrote on her blog. Her doctors don't seem to know either, and generally speaking, that's to be expected. In the comments section of the blog, there's some speculation, by Dr. Helen, of factors that may have played a role. This is part of what she wrote:

Doctors told me I probably had a coronary spasm which women are prone to due, I think, to smaller arteries. Docs say perhaps a blood clot got caught in one of these arterial spasms and caused the heart attack. I was on birth control pills at the time and was told that could possibly have caused the blood clot

This is how I read that section:

coronary spasm => probable
blood clot => possible
birth control pills => possible cause of blood clot

So it seems the connection between Dr. Helen's heart attack and her use of birth control pills is pretty tenuous: her heart attack may have been caused by a blood clot that may have been caused by using birth control pills.

Rational people don't read that and conclude that Dr. Helen's "heart attack was probably caused by birth-control pills." Only people who don't understand the difference between "probable" and "possible" would reach the conclusion Glenn Reynolds has reached based on that information.

Canuck said...

"Are you including vasectomies?"

Nope. I specifically meant the 28 pill-pack birth control pill or that same pill used as hormonal control for menopause.

As that's been the hot topic around here for a few days. :)

I'm not the sharpest nail in the box. It didn't actually occur to me that most of the people commenting about the pill (and its side effects) weren't consumers of the pill.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Thanks Maybee. That makes sense. This talking point is all over Facebook and no one is challenging it. I guess this is an example of how the Limbaugh controversy really hurt the conservative argument. Instead of pointing out the inaccuracies everyone is talking about Limbaugh's stupid rant.

rcommal said...

Still doesn't cover Constitutional issues, but how about the mandate to also cover Fertility Awarness classes by a certified instructor for free!

I guess they don't show that dopey Kotex-sponsored film strip in 5th grade anymore?

Sorry--couldn't resist. (And OMG, I am old.)

Crunchy Frog said...

The pill most likely was the cause of my wife's breast cancer.

Don't tell that to Freder though. He might get the vapors or something, the poor dear.

I ♥ Willard said...

The pill most likely was the cause of my wife's breast cancer.

Your wife's doctor told you that? o_O

MayBee said...

I guess this is an example of how the Limbaugh controversy really hurt the conservative argument. Instead of pointing out the inaccuracies everyone is talking about Limbaugh's stupid rant.

Nobody made people pay more attention to Limbaugh than Fluke's testimony.
Fluke's story was out there for a day before Limbaugh said what he said, right?
How many people did you see question her "facts" then?
How many of her interviewers have asked her about them?

The "war on women" is what the Dems wanted to go with from the beginning. They never intended to present facts in pursuit of a new entitlement. If you weren't demanding the facts, then you played into their hands. That isn't Rush's fault.

Freder Frederson said...

From Dr. Helen in the comments;

I didn't read the comments. But going back and checking, she did indeed mention it as a possible cause in response to comments.

MayBee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

Canuck's big concern was that medical uses for hormone pills should be covered in the US healthcare system, where he does not live.
Once he finds out they are, and that concern is ill-founded, he goes on to wondering what commenters here use.

I ♥ Willard said...

Sorry, I really don't understand why I should tell you my very personal business. Why are you so interested in what people here are using?

Althouse readers are busybodies. :(

rcommal said...

I think it's quite possible that a whole bunch of people out there weren't even *aware* of Fluke's testimony until *after* the Limbaugh stuff hit the fan. In a sense, the latter helped bring the former into the public consciousness, but unfortunately in a negative way.

(I'm not referring to myself, or others, who have been following the whole mandate thing, in all its permutations, for a long time. But most folks, including those who vote etc., have not.

This is why the Limbaugh thing is so very unfortunate and was so ill-conceived, IMO.

Obviously, most of you here disagree. I'm aware of that, and I get and respect [most] of your arguments to the contrary.

But I think you're wrong.)

Bender said...

I can assure you that it had nothing to do with wanting to be equal with a man or viewing my body as fundamentally inferior

Just something that needed to be suppressed and changed from its natural and healthy state to a dysfunctional state.

But, hey, there are plenty of men who are all too eager to have women have to change their bodies, rather than men actually take responsibility themselves for anything.

Lyssa said...

Canuck said: It didn't actually occur to me that most of the people commenting about the pill (and its side effects) weren't consumers of the pill.

Quite honestly, I'd be surprised if more than a handful of women here (or, for the men, women they've engaged with) actually never have used the pill. It's extremely common.

I've used it (or injections) from 1999 until last fall, or basically my entire adult life, and most of my friends have done similarly.

rcommal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcommal said...

[Deleted and re-posted to fix typos]

Bender, you can spin and twist whatever you want to fit your worldview and impute motives to other people. Have a grand old time at it, I say! Which you no doubt will, and more power to you.

That doesn't make you right, and it certainly doesn't make me have to listen to you.

(I must say, I'm devoutly grateful that I have very conservative, devout Catholic friends, including a best friend of decades, in my life.

Because if I were only exposed to conservative Catholics who expressed themselves in the way and with the attitude and the tone that you do, I'd run as fast toward the far hills from Catholicism as I could. Instead, I have deep respect for and interest in Catholic theology, for the Catholic church and for most conservative Catholics.

You are no good witness, at least online, to those who don't already agree entirely with you in content and form.)

MayBee said...

rcommal- I think Rush's approach was neither well conceived nor fortunate.

But I think your statement that people hadn't heard about Fluke until the Rush thing pretty much proves my point.
He didn't distract from the larger, better crafted argument.
He was just used as another stop on the "Republicans have a war on women" express.
See, for example, Obama's fake permission slip. He's the president. Much more powerful than Rush.

Jane said...

I was on BC for four years after I married, completely unschooled in any side effects. (Totally ignorant - this was before internet - I didn't even understand how they worked - I feel sad, now.) I have been off of them for 12 years. I have heart troubles and thyroid issues since then.

When I first went off of them, I was a total mess for a few months. I felt completely emotionally unstable, and of course physically sick.. My husband was shocked at this strange creature in his house.

They tended to destroy libido - what a waste of my twenties! What a sad early marriage! It wasn't all bad, but after they were out of my system, I felt like I did when we were dating.

I dislike very much when people speak up about side effects and are labeled mysoginistic or anti-feminist. Being fully informed is so important.

Renee said...

@rcommal

I got condoms on cucumbers, numerous lectures on AIDS, how to have safe anal sex, and some movie on teen pregnancy in which the girl is punished for having a baby.

No Kotox films here.

I'm old too. If you think the 90s was a long time ago.

Bender said...

I am sorry to hear you say that, rcommal, and it is true that all too often I am too forceful in my comments. Enough so that I have had to mention it in Confession. So for saying or doing anything that might lead you away from what is true, I apologize.

But in the interests of such truth, trying here to be as delicate and gentle as possible, a woman's body is, in her natural state, fertile. To respect a woman in her natural state and dignity is not wrong.

And to adopt an attitude that woman in her natural state is somehow a type of illness that requires taking "medication" to suppress that natural state of being is to adopt an attitude that is against woman as she truly is.

Why should women have to change who they are? Why should they have to be the ones to fundamentally alter their bodies with powerful hormones, chemicals that seek to advance a lie about women's bodies?

Why not demand that men be men and insist that they be the ones to change?

MayBee said...

Landsberg has it right.
You want female contraception (and breast pumps) to be free, you tell explain why.

If you can't explain that, you've got no business talking about what Rush said.

rcommal said...

Renee:

I got condoms on cucumbers, numerous lectures on AIDS, how to have safe anal sex, and some movie on teen pregnancy in which the girl is punished for having a baby.

Well, now, that makes me glad that I'm *older* (51 today, as a matter of fact). Because: yuck!

Renee said...

@rcommal

When studying a NFP method, it can be very graphic. So it someone is so uptight about their body, they will fail at it. Not only is there a study on a woman's changing cervical mucus through out her cycle, one can even observe the change of her cervix.

TMI

For instance when a woman is non-fertile her cervix is firm, but when she is fertile it slightly higher and becomes softer.

If her partner knows this, he can actually tell how fertile she is at the time of intercourse. Politely said, if your husband's erect penis is long enough to reach to your cervix. He knows when your fertile and when you're not.

(Make anyone feel awkward?)

Original Mike said...

Gillespie thinks the left wants to end the "birth control controversy". Silly man.

Triangle Man said...

For most women, as long as you aren't a smoker, the MD visit is more for the Pap smear than any detailed discussion of which OCP to use, or whether.

@Pogo

I think annual Pap smears will go away with HPV vaccination and testing. New guidelines are due soon and extending the interval between Paps is likely to be included.

Canuck said...

A lot of assumptions here. And I don't know why people think they know my gender. :)

Anyways - different opinions are great! If you think the pill causes women to loose attraction to certain men that's fine with me. Still don't know what to make of the penis envy comment.

And it explains these comments--which to me sound odd--if I understand the commenter--and likely his wife--isn't and never will be a consumer of the pill. It also explains to me other reactions and comments in other threads that I did not understand.

Sigivald said...

To solve the controversy, stop mandating anything "for free" or as part of "insurance".

Health insurance, so called, isn't.

Insurance doesn't mean "free* no-out-of-pocket regular expenses" - the entire term is now meaningless.

(* And even here, do people just not realize that your pay for a job is based on total compensation?

And that if you add "free" contraception to health care, that just means you're getting less money in pocket?

Because I assure you that employers are not going to eat the higher cost of insurance just because you're getting free stuff.)

rcommal said...

It doesn't make me uncomfortable--but then I'm already aware of NFP principles.

What I can't get my mind wrapped around is how I would possibly have been able to keep a straight face, much less burst out in uncontrollable giggles, had I personally had to sit through a public school class in which we were putting condoms on cucumbers.

The film in high school health class during which Adrienne Barbeau (!!!) was snapping a condom was bad enough, believe me--especially given that it was co-ed (and this was in the 1970s, for crying out loud!). The only that saved me was that my parents were always very open and direct in educating us children.

That, and biting my lip *really, really, really* hard. And doodling like crazy on the handouts--HOORAY for MARGINALIA!

OK. Back to the more serious (I don't mean to threadjack).

MayBee:

I take your point (have taken your point), but Rush really did just bring out the ammo and hand it over gift-wrapped with a big old, bright-red bow. No one made him do that. He's an adult. He's intelligent. He could have foreseen it, IMO, and, honestly, no one can convince me otherwise.

Bender: Thanks. I do know and appreciate the philosophy behind what you just said--and also the way you just put it. : )

Tim said...

"Much like being all in favor of fetal stem cell as the next big medical cure while being concerned about genetically modified corn."

Exactly.

Frankenfood is bad; Frankenpeople are good.

Welcome to the future. It has no logic, but it'll totally rock.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Anyone claiming to be a "libertarian" should recognize that they don't necessarily have the expertise to make any sensible judgment about how an individual patient and doctor make decisions on what's best for the patient. There is birth control available at low prices at pharmacies, and people are free to buy it. I have no problem with some people making that choice, but that isn't the best choice for everyone. I'm unimpressed with "libertarians" who are suggesting that a one-size-fits-all solution is preferable to individuals and their doctors making their own medical decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Tim said...

"The film in high school health class during which Adrienne Barbeau (!!!) was snapping a condom was bad enough, believe me--especially given that it was co-ed (and this was in the 1970s, for crying out loud!). The only that saved me was that my parents were always very open and direct in educating us children."

Oh.

Then, you probably should go see that bathroom in NYC in which some artist, now long since dead of AIDS, did a seemingly endless drawing of penises in various states of deployment; I'm pretty sure there are no condoms depicted, to test your squeamishness.

I've been informed the drawings are "charming."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do religious institutions object to paying for birth control pills when they are prescribed for medical reasons I.e. cysts?


No. They do not object.

The majority of the ones that I know about have specifically stated that the use of hormones (aka birth control pills) for medical pathologies are allowed.

It is only when the "pill" is used for birth control, to prevent the creation of a child that the church objects to being a party to what it considers a sin.

MayBee said...


And it explains these comments--which to me sound odd--if I understand the commenter--and likely his wife--isn't and never will be a consumer of the pill. It also explains to me other reactions and comments in other threads that I did not understand.


If someone decides the pill is not for them, does that mean they shouldn't debate whether it should be mandated in the US that nobody should have to pay for female contraception out of his own pocket?

MayBee said...

The pill isn't the only female contraceptive being mandated, by the way.
Not sure why the focus is so heavily on that.

rcommal said...

John:

+1

rcommal said...

Tim: I was speaking from the perspective of a young *teen-ager* (at least back then(m for pete's sake. Sense of humor, please?

Darrell said...

I wonder if using birth control pills will eventually be shown to change the kind of men women are attracted to.


"Animal studies show that female mammals can smell out males whose MHC genes are different from their own. MHC genes affect important immune responses. By mating with males who have different MHC genes, females give their offspring a better disease-fighting repertoire.

It's true of humans, too. In laboratory studies, women who sniff men's sweaty T-shirts find them more attractive when they come from men whose MHC genes don't match theirs. It's not that certain MHC genes smell better to women -- it's the difference that counts.

The result: After taking the pill, women shifted toward preferring genetically similar men. Women who did not take the pill slightly increased their preference for genetically different men.

Rusty said...

Having a coochie is fraught with complications.
That's what I'm taking away from all this.

Paul said...

"but I wanted to know that whatever I was was really me and not a drug."

She says halfway into a bottle of Merlot.

chickenlittle said...

John Stodder said...
And isn't it funny that even now, 50+ years after it was introduced, we still call birth control drugs "the pill" or "pills?"

60+ years actually. Carl Djerassi co-invented of the first oral contraceptive for women back in 1951. He had a long career at Stanford University (he's since retired). He's also long been interested in the arts and even writes fiction.

Djerassi foresaw the Pill's huge social impact, anticipating a far greater social impact on men than on women. He apparently also foresaw the so-called "feminization of men," along with changes in laws and social values in favor of women in society as a whole. I put a link to that here

rcommal said...

Paul:
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

CJinPA said...

My birth control was over the counter. And ribbed.

Mark said...

Chuck66 said "According to the Democrats, it isn't the availability of birth control pills, its that women shouldn't have to pay for them. That someone else should pay for their birth control."

I think they just want birth control pills covered under their health insurance plans like any other prescription med. And even if it's employer sponsored plan it is part of their compensation so they are in effect paying for it. I would think insurance companies would need to charge more for plans that did not provide this coverage. After my second child was born I had a vasectomy. I would never want my partner to have to take the pill one day longer than necessary. Under the Blunt amendment, coverage for that procedure would also not be available. What we get here is a tiny minority of people (and notably not most Catholics) who want to dictate family planing choices to everyone else. We should understand that this will truly only effect those at the lowest economic strata which begs the question of the consequences of this policy. I really love Catholic Bishops lecturing the American public about morality.

MayBee said...

I think they just want birth control pills covered under their health insurance plans like any other prescription med.

Who wants this, Mark?
Not the Obama administration, which just mandated birth control pills be treated very very differently than other prescription meds.
They also did not mandate vasectomies be covered at all.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

[Mark:] I think they just want birth control pills covered under their health insurance plans like any other prescription med.

[MayBee:] Who wants this, Mark?
Not the Obama administration, which just mandated birth control pills be treated very very differently than other prescription meds.
They also did not mandate vasectomies be covered at all.


I think you're both incorrect.

Mark, the regulation stipulates that birth control be zero-copay, that is, no marginal cost to the plan-holder. That is not how other prescription meds are handled. If you need a medication that treats something actually wrong with you, like, oh, hypertension or high cholesterol or chronic pain or diabetes, you generally do have to pay something for it. You can, however make yourself deliberately infertile for free.

MayBee, sterilization is also zero-copay. Free vasectomies, free tubal ligations.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And even if it's employer sponsored plan it is part of their compensation so they are in effect paying for it.

Cool. Then you would have no objection if the employer canceled the plan and just gave everyone a raise in take home pay?

That way each employee could chose the level of coverage or not to be covered if they want.

Right???

Under the Blunt amendment, coverage for that procedure would also not be available. What we get here is a tiny minority of people (and notably not most Catholics) who want to dictate family planing choices to everyone else. We should understand that this will truly only effect those at the lowest economic strata

Ummm. No.

The Catholic Church is concerned ONLY with the policies and mandates that affect themselves. There is nothing in this current kerfluffle that affects anyone outside of the Church or those who are voluntarily employed by the church.

If you are in the lowest strata and therefore, probably not working and not covered by a group employer sponsered plan AND not able to buy your own coverage.....there are plenty of places that will gladly provide you with birth control and with even abortions.

Planned Parenthood for example.

Try again.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

MayBee, sterilization is also zero-copay. Free vasectomies, free tubal ligations

None of which the Catholic Church also wants to be forced to pay for since the main reason for those procedures is birth control and with very RARE execptions is a medical necessity.

Bender said...

What we get here is a tiny minority of people (and notably not most Catholics) who want to dictate family planing choices to everyone else.

If neither you nor your spouse work for a Catholic organization -- which you are perfectly free to not do -- how are they dictating anything to you or your employer or its insurer?

Indeed, how are they involved with you in any way? How does leaving you alone and not bothering you at all constitute dictating to you?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bender said it better.

MayBee said...


MayBee, sterilization is also zero-copay. Free vasectomies, free tubal ligations.


Free tubal.
Do you have a link on vasectomies, because the rule as written has been interpreted otherwise, at least by insurers.
The original rule released by Sebilius only mandated coverage for women.

Bender said...

Even Catholic employers already pay large amounts of money in wages to their employees.

Those employees are perfectly free, in the exercise of their privacy, to spend $10-50 per month on contraceptives if they so choose.

By what rational basis is it necessary for the employer to take that same $10-50 per month and, instead of paying it to the employee, paying it to some insurer so that the insurer can then pay it to some pharmacist?

How does that enhance anyone's freedom or privacy to involve all of these extra people in the private sex lives of employees?

Jay said...

Mark said...

I think they just want birth control pills covered under their health insurance plans like any other prescription med.


Pure, unadulterated ignorance.

The lies you need to tell yourself in order to be a leftist are endless.

Jay said...

Under the Blunt amendment, coverage for that procedure would also not be available.

Utter crap.

That is one of the dumbest things I've seen written on the topic.

Mark said...

Blogger MayBee said...

I think they just want birth control pills covered under their health insurance plans like any other prescription med.

Who wants this, Mark?
Not the Obama administration, which just mandated birth control pills be treated very very differently than other prescription meds.

Really? From Kaiser's ACA description:
Insurers will also have flexibility in how they actually cover certain benefits. For example, all plans will have to include prescription drug coverage, but the formularies that specify which drugs are covered will vary. The federal guidance requires only that plans cover at least one drug in each class (e.g., antidepressants, drugs to lower cholesterol, protease inhibitors for HIV, etc.). This is somewhat different from federal standards for Medicare prescription drug plans. Medicare plans must cover at least two drugs in each class, and for six protected categories – antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anticonvulsant drugs, cancer drugs, immunosuppressant drugs used by transplant patients, and antiretroviral drugs used by patients with HIV – all or substantially all licensed drugs must be covered. Plans also will have different networks of providers and different ways of managing access to providers and covered services.

Insurers quickly agreed to the compromise of providing pills for free if an employer objects because it was in their actuarial best interest. Tell us MayBee what percentage of the population believes family planning prescriptions should be eliminated from private health insurance plans. This has been required in some states for a long time without controversy. I've been buying health plans for 37 years and I've never seen that provision nor ever heard it was available. The simple reason is that it would be disadvantageous for the insurer.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Mark,

Sorry; ought to have addressed this:

After my second child was born I had a vasectomy. I would never want my partner to have to take the pill one day longer than necessary. Under the Blunt amendment, coverage for that procedure would also not be available. What we get here is a tiny minority of people (and notably not most Catholics) who want to dictate family planing choices to everyone else.

Mark, coverage for a vasectomy would be available from any insurer that chose to cover it. (I'm reading over and over these past few days that babies are expensive and preventing them isn't; why wouldn't they cover your snippage?)

It would also be available w/o coverage, if you were willing to pay for it yourself. (It's an outpatient procedure, as I understand it, and not terribly expensive.)

What it would not be is free to you. Nor would a tubal ligation be free to your wife. Oddly enough, just about every other medical procedure but those two that either of you might undergo would cost you something out of pocket under PPACA, as would any medications but birth control. Were you to need any sort of surgery but getting yourself snipped, you would pay actual money for it.

Does this policy make sense? We require copays for every medicine that treats actual diseases, and every surgery that treats actual harm, but anything that artificially induces sterility is free.

MayBee said...

Mark- the difference is the administration has required female birth control to be covered at zero copay.
Maybe I don't understand what you are saying.

As for this:
Insurers quickly agreed to the compromise of providing pills for free if an employer objects because it was in their actuarial best interest.

They have not agreed, nor quickly agreed. The whole thing is not yet settled.

Renee said...

How about just making birth control tax deductable, if paid out of pocket?

Odd to see that question on Turbo Tax though.

Bruce Hayden said...

Gee, now Reynolds is also a cardiologist? Who knew!

She does have a PhD in, I believe, psychology, and is likely to have been the one to have done much of the actual work in determining the most likely cause of her heart attack. Assuming that a law professor is incapable of that sort of think, which you seem to believe is the case.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

MayBee,

Do you have a link on vasectomies, because the rule as written has been interpreted otherwise, at least by insurers.

No, I have no link, and thank you for yours. I'm afraid I just assumed both male and female sterilization were included, partly because it would be silly to leave out vasectomies when tubal ligation is considerably more expensive (and invasive, and risky), and husbands and wives are generally both on the same insurance plan. But I guess sense doesn't really come into it, does it?

MayBee said...

MDT- I know what you mean. Trying to make it make sense logically or medically (or financially) will do nothing but lead you astray!

Blue@9 said...

Worrying that your food might not be organic while dropping LSD and taking prescription medicine seems ironic, no?

Not really. I don't think prescription meds are sprayed with pesticides. I'll grant you LSD though-- scary because it's made by some dude who spends half his time evading the police. I'll try a lot of drugs, but LSD has never held much appeal to me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Tell us MayBee what percentage of the population believes family planning prescriptions should be eliminated from private health insurance plans.

What difference does this make. The issue is forcing a religious institution, no matter WHAT percentage they are to provide items and services that they find morally objectionable and that would violate their religious principes.

This has been required in some states for a long time without controversy. I've been buying health plans for 37 years and I've never seen that provision nor ever heard it was available.

Sure it is. BUT, most States have also provided an opt out provision for religious institutions.

And most States also allow levels of coverage. For instance you should be able to buy a policy that does NOT include maternity.

And until now, or with the imposition of Obama care, you used to be able to. The difference now is that ALL plans will be forced to carry coverage. Whether the consumer wants it or not and whether the employer wants to offer or not.

ken in sc said...

She says halfway into a bottle of Merlot.

Don't you mean a box of Merlot? Actually, and earlier detractor used to accuse Ann of drinking box wine. I never knew why.

I once accidentally ordered a $120 bottle of wine. My wife said to go ahead and try it, as a once in a life-time treat. It was good but not ten times as good as what I usually drink.

I drink as much red wine as I can stand--for my heart you understand--I stop when my nose starts to bleed.

I ♥ Willard said...

Assuming that a law professor is incapable of that sort of think, which you seem to believe is the case.

Based on the information provided, Reynolds gets it wrong. :(

But quite often, people believe what they want to believe and ignore logic and facts in doing so.

Joe said...

What I find interesting is that all the anecdotes people tell about the pill, pro or con, have no bearing on whether it should be prescription or not. There seems to be some idea that Doctors are magicians.

Putting aside the pill and looking at other drugs, it seems to me that the primary purpose of the prescription market is to force people to make token visits to the doctor, often so the doctor can peddle you more drugs!

A good pharmacists can be very helpful in understand drug interaction, so I've no problem of still requiring many drugs to be purchased through a pharmacy, just without a prescription.

Why not let me sign away my right to sue the pharmacy and drug company and let me buy the long term drugs I need? (Which for me is sold OTC, only in lower doses at a slight markup BUT HSA rules no longer let you buy OTC drugs.)

X said...

"libertarians"

because if your not for a roadless Somalian society, you must be in favor of the total state.

Blue@9 said...

I disagree with the idea that it should be OTC. Hormones are nothing to mess with, and women who take the wrong dosage pill get all kinds of trouble.

Also, I think it's fine to require religious institutions to provide the pill--but only if it's medically necessary. A fair number of women take the pill to regulate their hormones, and in that instance it should be no different than a doctor prescribing cholesterol meds. We need to separate the issues of the pill for medical necessity versus the pill for recreation--that would tend to clear up the political arguments.

Blue@9 said...

"libertarians"

because if your not for a roadless Somalian society, you must be in favor of the total state.


When did people start confusing libertarians with anarchists? Maybe it's the fluoride in the water...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Dust Bunny Queen,

And most States also allow levels of coverage. For instance you should be able to buy a policy that does NOT include maternity.

And until now, or with the imposition of Obama care, you used to be able to. The difference now is that ALL plans will be forced to carry coverage. Whether the consumer wants it or not and whether the employer wants to offer or not.


Or whether you're post-menopausal or not. Or have had your tubes tied. Or, for that matter, are male.

A fraction of the US population that would be called an "overwhelming majority" if it were in the context of an election is physically unable to get pregnant, and that's not even counting the women who are taking contraceptives. But, maternity coverage for all. It's totally fair, sir; you have the same coverage as anyone if you get pregnant.

I have never quite understood why it's totally OK to discriminate against men in setting auto insurance rates, but not OK to discriminate against women in health insurance rates.

It's uncontroversial that men have more car accidents than women do; it's equally uncontroversial that women run up more health care costs than men do. Pregnancy, for starters; living several years longer, for another. Men more often die in conveniently quick fashions, like workplace accidents, or murder, or suicide, and they die several years earlier on average than women do. Women are more likely to be running up big Medicare tabs in a nursing home.

chickenlittle said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson wrote: I have never quite understood why it's totally OK to discriminate against men in setting auto insurance rates, but not OK to discriminate against women in health insurance rates.

That is an excellent point!

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

This is hilarious.

"Look, I'm probing somebody..."

The Crack Emcee said...

Instapundit notes that his "wife’s heart attack was probably caused by birth-control pills."

I wouldn't trust his opinion on that for a million bucks.

J said...

And I bet The Blonde takes caffeine without a prescription.

Is it any wonder she was fooled and voted for Obama?