Unless you've been in a cave all week, you probably heard Bill O'Reilly's controversial comment during a discussion of universal birth control on his Fox News show. Watch it here if you haven't — it ended up enraging millions of women, including our friends at The Frisky. Or, if you're strapped for time and need a quick recap, here's what went down: One commentator explains the benefits of making birth control available on health care plans because, for instance, it would reduce cost, reduce abortions and unplanned pregnancy. Bill objects by saying, "Many, many people, many women, I hate to say it… Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex and aren't going to get birth control anyway." (And thus, why have birth control covered by insurance? Because it will cost $4 billion and women won't use it anyway.) Could Women Soon Have Access To Free Birth Control?
Ouch. Seriously, Bill? I'm not going to pretend there's never been a liquor-fueled encounter that resulted in pregnancy, but this idea seems a tad passionate, don't you think? Does O'Reilly really think most women walk around in boozed-up stupors just looking for quick hook-ups, whatever the consequences?
Well, I think we need to look at the context: Bill O'Reilly is a self-described "traditionalist," who is very conservative and very pro-life. Don't get me wrong, I think his comment was out of line. I know there are tons of women who view sex as anything but casual, and many others who harbor the burdens of an unplanned pregnancy, or of terminating a child. But I also think O'Reilly is projecting his distaste for a lifestyle on the bigger picture. As a fellow conservative thinker, and as a woman, I'd like to make a couple of points. Birth Control: Should He Pay for Half?
1. The media portrays lots of sexual encounters as alcohol-induced romps. Romantic comedies, rap songs, Jersey Shore... what can I say? Can you blame the guy for thinking booze is the enemy in certain sexual situations? No. Of course, we know it's not the case in everyday life. But sometimes, when you're in front of a camera and you're engaging a "passionate" exchange of words, things slip out. Maybe that's what happened here. Not an excuse, but it's an explanation for the ridiculous comment.
2. Since 1973, there have been over 50 million abortions. As a conservative Christian, this number saddens me. There are 50 million children that never got the chance to be born, to live, to grow up. I'm guessing O'Reilly has a problem with that. He just unfortunately let one issue get in the way of another and it came out all wrong—drawing parallels between birth control, carelessness and unplanned pregnancy. The way I see it, he basically said women are to blame when he should have been saying, "How can we fix this? How can we reduce the number of abortions each year?" Abortions Rise With The Recession
If birth control for all is the way to reduce the number of abortions, then let's figure out how to get it in as many female hands as possible. Let's not let mistaken words, anger and presumptions get in the way of these real issues.