Amazing that we need to keep saying things like this, but apparently we do. And here’s Andrea saying it very well indeed, in today’s Ottawa Citizen:
Dr. Tim Rowe, a British Columbia-based doctor and editor of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, calls having doctors prescribe the pill “paternalistic,” comparing this to the fact that men don’t have to see a doctor to get condoms. It’s almost as if he wants the pill available at gas stations in coin operated dispensers next to cheap perfumes.
For his sake, let’s compare and contrast: Condoms are not ingested and they don’t contain synthetic hormones. They don’t need to be taken at a particular time of day and won’t have their use continued even when there’s no sexual activity. They don’t change the makeup of a man’s body or alter the release of sperm. The World Health Organization did not classify condoms as a known carcinogen. (Yes, you read that right. WHO classified the pill as a carcinogen in 2005.) Virtually all men will acknowledge they’d never stand to take something as body altering as the pill. Not so with women: The late Barbara Seaman, an investigative journalist, wrote a book about treating women with hormones called The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women. In it she documents how the pill came to be and at what cost.