A majority of men say they haven't benefited from women's access to birth control

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

It seems some men are having a hard time finding it in themselves to fight for women's reproductive rights because, well, they're having a hard time seeing how it makes their own lives better. 

A new survey from public opinion research firm PerryUndem found that just 37% of men say they have personally benefited from women's access to affordable birth control, while 52% say they've never reaped such benefits.

What's more, survey participants said these attitudes seem to apply all the way up the ladder to our country's politicians, who they said seem to view women's health care as more of a "political issue" than they do men's. But if the tables were turned — that is, if it were men who got pregnant — 75% of those surveyed felt certain male legislators would feel no hesitation about guaranteeing birth control access.

Advocates for birth control advocates rally outside the Supreme Court in March 2016.
Source: 
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

These survey participants aren't just going off gut feeling or taking a stab in the dark — with the GOP's new health care bill on the table, many politicians have made it abundantly clear they don't see why they should care about reproductive health.

In a Facebook post following January's Women's March, Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Mississippi wondered why he should have to fund birth control for "unhappy liberal women."

"So a group of unhappy liberal women marched in Washington DC," the Mississippi state senator wrote. "But I do have a question: If they can afford all those piercings, tattoos, body paintings, signs and plane tickets, then why do they want us to pay for their birth control?"

After considerable backlash, McDaniel wrote in a second post that he wouldn't change his mind on this point. "Indeed, as I awake this morning, I have never been more committed to the absolute defunding of Planned Parenthood and the immediate wholesale repeal of Obamacare," he said.

Earlier this month, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) sparked controversy on the House floor when he asked why men should have to pay for women's prenatal health — he being, of course, someone who believes that if a woman gets pregnant she should be required to keep and raise the child. 

"What about men having to purchase prenatal care?" Shimkus responded when asked about which parts of the Affordable Care Act he took issue with. "Is that not correct? And should they?"

The fact is, women's ability to care for themselves affects the men in their lives too — especially those with whom they're having sex. And since we've already established that men can't handle the side effects of hormonal birth control, they should consider themselves lucky that women have decided to bite the birth control bullet at all, and kindly go fuck themselves.

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Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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