In very poor taste

Last week, Rick Santorum’s sugar daddy, Foster Friess, said,  “Back in in my day, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Newswoman Andrea Mitchell was floored, and as progressive radio host Stephanie Miller said, this is a woman who has seen Alan Greenspan in the bathtub; it can’t be easy to shock her.

That joke was funny when we didn’t have to worry that we might actually have to resort to that. Now, it seems, it’s a sexist vision of America.

Women won’t have a right to any form of family planning if these people have their way.

What bothers me most is the same thing that bothered me two generations ago: All the decisions are being made by men. Women weren’t allowed to testify before Darryl Issa’a panel, only men. Old, wealthy white men. People who can’t get pregnant.

In my day, to paraphrase Friesse, women in Massachusetts, where I grew up, were forbidden by law from getting birth control. Any doctor who prescribed birth control to an unmarried woman could go to jail.That’s right, the penalty was on the doctor, who was almost always a man, as though women were too stupid to make up their own minds.

This isn’t about health care, it’s about control of women. It’s about taking us back to the 1950s, when women had few economic options aside from marriage and repeated childbearing. It was legal to deny a woman a job because she was a woman. She could be fired for getting married, and almost always had to leave her job if she got pregnant.

Contraception gave us the chance to have only as many children as we wanted or could care for. It also gave us the option to stay in our jobs until we chose parenthood, and even afterward. It gave us the chance to escape bad marriages. We no longer were prisoners — or property — of men. It was an important step for the women’s movement, and some want to go back to when women had to do as they were told.

Attacks on a woman’s right to an abortion were just the beginning, as it turns out. Now they want to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which is where millions of women go for annual checkups and birth control, and then they plan to go after contraception.

This is one wacko war we’re being called to fight.

Just because I’m too old to get pregnant doesn’t mean I won’t fight for the rights of my granddaughters to control their own bodies.

If your religion is against contraception, don’t use it. But don’t deny it to others. Your freedom of religion doesn’t mean I have to adhere to your convictions.

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