Douchebag Decree: Birth Control Backlash
It's a little embarrassing to call out Fox News on the Douchebag Decree, because that channel is basically a love letter to this column: "Dear Douchebag Decree, I will always be here for you. You will never be lonely as long as I'm around. Love always, Fox News." But it's also embarrassing to let the outrageously offensive commentary go without reminding the Internet that we DON'T just shake our heads and sigh every time Bill O' Reilly et al. run their fool mouths. We get mad as hell, and we tell people about it. On the Douche slab this week are Dana Perino and the rest of the commentators on "The Five," for their responses to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirement that insurance cover the cost of birth control.
August 1st was the OPPOSITE of a douche-y day, for a second, when HHS announced an addition to last year's Affordable Care Act, which will provide women with insurance access to reproductive health care (e.g., birth control, HIV screening and counseling, HPV DNA tests, breastfeeding support, etc) at no extra cost. "WOOHOO!", I thought. "LET'S MAKE FUN OF WOMEN AND ESPECIALLY POOR WOMEN!", thought Fox News. The excerpt linked above was from The Five, Fox's new show hosted by Dana Perino wherein five commentators get together and stereotype each other and themselves into a vortex of offensive, interrupting pseudo-discussion. A choice soundbite:
Who's going to use free birth control? The people who can't afford it. So, the Left has figured out a way to eradicate the poor, and it's by ERADICATING THE POOR!"
Caps lock mine, stupidity Greg Gutfeld's. Perino, who had just gotten done saying she was irritated by "free" birth control because she saw lots of people who could "buy new shoes," and felt like Americans needed to prioritize, laughs during Gutfeld's not-even-close-to-funny comment. Also NO ONE MENTIONED THAT IT IS NOT ACTUALLY FREE BIRTH CONTROL. The HHS Act removes co-pays for women who are already insured. Insurance is ABSOLUTELY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NOT FREE. But let's not even start that rant, because the Five go on to argue that "Women should be responsible for their own ovaries," and should not expect taxpayers to cover their breast pumps and birth control, and that HHS is unnecessary because poor women can already get free birth control because they're poor. Ok, so NOW let's start ranting.
First of all, Ye Douchebags, don't you dare argue for independent female organs unless you argue IN THE SAME BREATH for the independence to empty said organs at a woman's own discretion. Independence, like insurance, only works with full coverage.
Next, all birth controls (and breast pumps, but let's pick our battles) are not created equal, and the generics being offered at no or little cost to low-income women are not necessarily the most effective or even SAFEST options for any given patient. I know how you feel about "choice," Fox News, so it's not surprising you wouldn't even think of giving medical choices to people who are all icky and poor and stuff, but you sound like a bunch of idiots when you leave it out on TV.
And finally, there was this egregious, classist, privileged loogey of a comment from Perino herself, via the Ms. blog:
"If you can afford a $5 Frappucino, you can afford a $5 copay."
Mmm. Mocha Tri-Cyclen. But really. This sort of overly-pithy, dismissive language is infuriating in news. Why do research, when Dana Perino sounds so much like she knows everything about coffee drinks AND my birth control options?! Um... because she doesn't actually know a damn thing. Some women have low co-pays on their generic BC pills, but, as was mentioned above, this limits their choice of pill to whatever CAN be paid for with five dollars, side effects and personal compatibility aside. MANY women, however, pay much more, as much as $70 for alternatives like NuvaRings or IUDs. Plus A HELLUVA LOT OF PEOPLE CANNOT AFFORD A FRAPPUCINO OR BIRTH CONTROL EVEN IF THEY COST FIVE DOLLARS.
But that brings us back to poor women (perhaps "blasted" women, too...), and from watching Fox News we've learned that the poor will eradicate themselves any day now. Bring on the new shoes and Frappucinos!!
For a little more on this rant, check out this clip from last night's Colbert Report. Looks we're in agreement as to who deserved this week's Douchebag Decree:
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