Lots of talk about birth control and work in America. We are actually having four conversations.
- Whether or not it’s okay for private employers who get federal taxpayer exemptions — like the Catholic church — to decline to provide birth control coverage on private health insurance plans to female employees.
- Whether or not it’s okay to use taxpayer money to provide birth control options to women on public health plans like Medicaid.
- Whether or not it’s okay for any employer to opt-out of providing birth control coverage to women through private health insurance plans.
- Whether or not women are virgins or sluts.
FWIW I’m a slut. But you knew that.
So, uh, yeah, it’s great that people are talking about the intersection of legislation, morality and public and private health insurance coverage at work. I love thinking about my fellow employees having sex. That’s not gross and unproductive. Not at all.
We live in crazy times, people. So let’s take a step back and makes sure we all use the same language. Birth control is more than just abortion and a pill. It includes many things.
- Low-dose and high-dose pills
- Other barrier methods
- Rhythm method
Yes, abstinence is a form of birth control; however, despite what your slow-witted kids are learning in American high schools, pulling out is not.
Now that we have the language on birth control straight, let’s get to some facts. Some studies report that 98% of sexually active Catholic American women have used birth control at one point. And here’s an interesting fact — 14% of all pill users rely on the pill for noncontraceptive purposes such as treating medical conditions from migraines to endometriosis to acne.
So it’s pretty much safe to assume that every chick you know at work has used SOME FORM of birth control at one point in her life — even if it’s abstinence. And most dudes have used it, too. If not a condom, they’ve benefited from a woman who is responsible enough to manager her own reproductive health.
Yeah. You’re welcome.
But back to the bigger point — there are a million reasons why birth control discussions should be kept out of work. First reason? Yuck. Second reason? What year is this? It’s insane to think that someone could get fired for using birth control.
That’s it. Two reasons. That’s all I need.
But even though talking about reproductive health at work seems highly inappropriate, part of me thinks that HR should ask all candidates about birth control because it is a universal experience.
“Give me an example of a time you used birth control. What happened? How did it work? Did you find the outcome to be successful? Would you do it again? What lessons did you learn?”
The one great challenge is measurement. How do correlate the responses to a successful candidacy? Hm. Here are my ideas.
- If a sexually active woman says that she hasn’t ever used birth control — from the rhythm method to morning-after pills — there is a 98% chance that she is probably lying. She’s bounced.
- If a dude says that he doesn’t use birth control, he is lazy. WTF is wrong with him? We should neuter him on the spot for being irresponsible.
Everyone else? Qualified for the job.
Isn’t that a fabulous idea?
Or how about this — we can just stay the hell out of people’s bedrooms. At work. At school. In life.
Call me crazy but I like to live by the immortal words of Amy Poehler.
DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.
Unless you’re my boss and telling me how to do my job. That’s okay.