Opinion: Leave contraception alone

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

In our nation’s history of successes, this type of talk and discussion would have been seen as bizarre or illogical. Apparently, contraception is a major political issue — I wonder if it steers us away from the topic of abortion, given that our nation seems deeply divided on the topic.

Republican candidate Rick Santorum said states should govern themselves by allowing the right to outlaw the sale of contraceptives. I’m just going to say right now: I couldn’t disagree more. Why is it considered wrong to use contraceptives? Some people in this country really don’t like them. As a result, it’s become one of the country’s top stories in the media. Pitiful really.

Foster Friess, a millionaire American investor-bankroller and Santorum lover, caused an uproar this week in a contraception debate on MSNBC with a pretty ballsy statement about female sexuality.

“You know, back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” Friess said. “The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”

After those words rolled off Friess’ tongue, reporter Andrea Mitchell was speechless and said she needed to catch her breath for a brief moment.

The remark outraged many women’s groups and other foundations that have familiarized themselves with this topic. It quickly became a distraction for Santorum as he attempts to build on a trio of victories that threaten rival Mitt Romney, as Politico states in one of its articles.

Friess apologized on Friday in hopes of bringing peace; but for those who didn’t get the implication of what he said — holding an aspirin between your legs forces those legs to stay closed.

In a statement on his website, Friess said the “joke bombed,” writing that “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,” Friess said. “Birth control pills weren’t yet available, so everyone laughed at the silliness on how an aspirin could become a birth control pill.”

Let’s be clear: aspirin is not birth control, so if you’re going to use some form of contraception, painkillers aren’t your wisest choice.

We’re all adults, which means we have choices to make, choices we can make on our own. On the topic of our sexual rights, some choose to use a contraceptive barrier and others choose abstinence. Again, these are all choices we as a people should be making for ourselves. This should not be the kind of sparking issue that attracts the attention of our political candidates.

The United States has bigger problems to deal with, problems that beg discussion and control. Contraception already has some form of control, but in the eyes of some religious activists, it’s not enough; it’s still a matter of choice. Because if we can’t have that, then this nation is going backwards in history.