When I was in middle school, I was given access to all of my parents old records. One of my favorites was AM/FM by George Carlin. On it, he did a bit about birth control that went like this,
“Some day, birth control will go off-prescription. And when they do, they’ll need those cute little catchy names… Preg-Not! ‘Doctors prefer Embry-No!’ Here’s one for the ladies: Nary a Carry! Something lofty and poetic: Nay, Family Way! Something earthy and crude: Mom-Bomb. Something for the youngsters: Junior…Miss! Here’s a real man’s product: Inconceivable! Mommy Not, Fetus Fail, Kiddie Kill, Poppa Stopper, whatever you want. Womb Broom, Humpty Dumpty, y’know. They’re clever guys. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come up with a birth control pill that doesn’t work all the time and call it Baby-Maybe!”
As a 13 year old it made me giggle at all the silly names. As a 32 year old, it makes me realize that in 1972 George Carlin had the optimism to believe that one day we would reach a point where birth control would be accepted and accessible as an over-the-counter drug.
Over 40 years later, Facebook is swirling with controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood. And in my life, I have seen controversy swirl around Planned Parenthood so many times. Republicans want to see it defunded and banned, so much that they will build a whole platforms around it. They base their arguments around a procedure that is not publicly funded, and makes up approximately 3% of their services, never taking into account the variety of their patient’s experiences.
I hope, one day, that Mr. Carlin’s optimism will be justified. I double-hope that this change will come in my life time. In the meantime, it’s up to us to help make sure that Planned Parenthood can continue to help people in need… so that women and men can continue to have access to affordable reproductive health care, contraceptives and birth control.
I’d hate to imagine a world without it.