Pills and Pandering


For the first time in a long while, Mike Huckabee has popped up on the mainstream media’s radar. At a luncheon for the Republican National Committee earlier this month, the former Arkansas governor commented on a hotly debated Obamacare mandate that requires health insurances policies under the federal government to include birth control pills in prescription drug coverage. The passage of his speech that drew the most fire was his statement that “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America.”

Since the release of Huckabee’s provocative comments, many news pundits have been quick to label the former governor as just another participant in the sexist “war on women” led by the GOP. Even celebrities known best for raunchy dancing and nudity (we get it, you’re not Hannah Montana anymore) felt compelled to hound Huckabee on the issue. With help from Cosmopolitan Magazine, Miley Cyrus started the sarcastic Twitter trend #CantControlMyLibido.

I’ll be one of the first to recognize that prescription birth control serves many purposes other than pregnancy prevention. But no matter the reason one might cite for using the pill, men still have the right to comment on its inclusion in the Obamacare mandates, and their opinions should be heard loud and clear. Why? Because men will be largely funding the inclusion of contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act. Huckabee’s word choice was outdated and a clumsy career move, especially after hinting a 2016 presidential run. However, instead of berating his diction, it would be much more productive to focus on the important issue he raises regarding pandering to women in the political sphere. Let’s not lie to ourselves here; both sides do it.

– Julie A. McConville

  • Matt

    He has a right to comment, but he and the GOP need to live with the consequences. It was condescending and emblematic of how the GOP thinks women should just shut up about birth control and abortion rights. He can line up with Todd Akin's "from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare … If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”