Did you hear what Mike Huckabee said at the annual meeting of the Republican National Committee last week?
Paraphrasing his words can’t make them more palatable, so here they are, unfiltered:
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”
First of all, can anyone point to a Democrat anywhere (or a Republican other than Mike Huckabee himself) who’s actually said anything close to that? This was ground-breakingly creepy!
Next, does he realize that women’s libidos and reproductive systems wouldn’t actually need birth control if not for men?
And can this mean that he supports marriage equality, because gay and lesbian couples don’t need birth control to avoid unintended pregnancies? What a bargain for Uncle Sugar!
Who the heck is Uncle Sugar anyway – it sounds like the name of a rock band made up of dirty old men. Again, creepy.
After unpacking the layers of crazy, misogynistic, non-ecologically sound Styrofoam peanuts surrounding his intent, I’m left with this nugget of truth: Mike Huckabee believes birth control is immoral. He’s not alone in this belief: Presidential candidate Rick Santorum said plainly that contraceptives are “not OK” and are “counter to how things are supposed to be,” while radio host Rush Limbaugh called a woman a “slut” for suggesting that contraceptives should be included in a comprehensive package of health services at her university.
Just for kicks, I’ll get on this crazy train. Let’s go for a ride.
Let’s agree that some medications become unnecessary with certain behavior changes. Putting aside the other health benefits of birth control pills (reduced risk of anemia, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer, treatment of endometriosis, treatment of PMS and painful and irregular periods, to name just a few), you don’t need them to prevent pregnancy if you aren’t sexually active. Perhaps this kind of behavior modification would not make for happier marriages, but it would give poor “Uncle Sugar” a break from providing all those pesky pills. Problem solved.
That was easy! Let’s apply the same logic to other expensive and potentially unnecessary drugs.
Consider cholesterol-lowering statins. They are the second-most prescribed drug in the US, with 94.1 million prescriptions annually. That’s almost as many people as were previously having sex, before Mike Huckabee’s helpful directive to control their libidos (oh, wait, that was only for women). Cholesterol can be significantly reduced with a regimen of exercise and diet. Good news, statin-takers! If you weren’t already pulling your hair out from your recent commitment to abstinence, you’ll be happy to be distracted by 6 a.m. “cross fit” workouts and kale smoothies.
Note to people with Type 2 Diabetes: you’re next with the exercise and the kale. Insulin is for the undisciplined.
Uncle Sugar is also sick and tired of providing chemotherapy to cancer patients who brought this on themselves (you know who you are, you sunbathers, smokers, and alcoholics!). Unlike birth control pills, chemotherapy offers no side benefits at all and is actually poison, so patients should be happier without treatment. Next time, use sunscreen and cut back on the gin. Tell your friends.
We can even reduce our dependence on the most widely prescribed drug in the country, hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen (131.2 million prescriptions!). This drug is prescribed for people with “moderate to severe pain,” to which Uncle Sugar must surely ask – have we become a nation of wussies? Americans who care about freedom and liberty do not need to suck on the teat of hydrocodone. To victims of car accidents, retirees from physically demanding careers, and veterans returning with war injuries, Uncle Sugar says, “You should have been more careful!” Rub some dirt on it. If all else fails, take the American flag that hangs on your front porch and bite down on the stick until you forget about your pain.
Did you enjoy this trip into the heart of Mike Huckabee’s America, where no one has sex (well, married couples can have it 2.3 times to produce the average number of children per family), everyone exercises and eats right, and no one drinks or smokes? Uncle Sugar, happily relieved of his birth control oversight duties, can go lie on a beach somewhere. I hope he wears sunscreen because no one will feel sorry for him if a mole starts to look weird.
We will never be perfect enough to not need modern medicine – all the superb pharmaceuticals we’ve created help us live comfortably with the various conditions and health ailments we all get. Maybe we deserve them, maybe we don’t, but who’s to say? Someone may judge me for the choices I make, but I sure don’t need it to be Mike Huckabee.
Or Uncle Sugar. I have a sneaky suspicion he’s been helping himself to Viagra.