Unfortunately, birth control is no longer available in the United States because, you know, the patriarchy. Or at least that’s what Amy Schumer’s sketch, “Ask if Birth Control Is Right for You,” would have people believe. “Inside Amy Schumer,” a Comedy Central show, has taken a noticeably political turn in the third season with sometimes hilarious and sometimes disingenuous results.
In the sketch, Schumer is told to ask her doctor, then her boss, then her boss’ priest, then a Boy Scout, etc., if birth control is right for her. This would be a little silly if that were actually happening, but for women everywhere in the United States, the option to buy birth control themselves is always on the table. It’s only when you start asking your boss to pay for your birth control that the asking part comes in. When you use other people’s money to pay for your things, shouldn’t they get a say in what you do with it?
Later in the sketch, Schumer says to “ask why you insist on having sex for fun?” Maybe the better question would be, “Why do you insist on making other people pay for your sexual habits?”
Empowered women should be able to decide their own sexual behavior and also accept the consequences of their decisions. They should not be babied into a dependent state where government benevolently hand outs birth control using other people’s money. Let’s get out of women’s ovaries and allow them the freedom to choose sexually. But with freedom comes responsibility. If you want your boss, priest, or Boy Scout troop out of your bedroom, then don’t pull them back in there by demanding that others pay for your sexual behavior.
As if to put the icing on the cake of unbelievable situations, at the end of the sketch, Schumer has a child walk into the store and ask for a gun, which the pharmacist (?) readily gives the small child, explaining that guns are his “right.” Never mind that gun rights are actually in the Constitution. Never mind that there are real restrictions to purchasing and owning a gun, and in some places owning a gun is outlawed. Never mind that people need to purchase their own guns, and there are no government requirements that employers arm their workers.
As people re-post this sketch to explain how “ridiculously hard” it is for women to get birth control and discuss the “utter ridiculousness of the idea that the best person to have any say in what a woman does with her body is, um, any man at all ever,” it’s good to remember that virtually no one is trying to make birth control illegal for purchase. What these straw man arguments do is obfuscate real questions like: Should a woman’s “right” to birth control trump other people’s right to acting according to their consciences?