Who's responsible for birth control?

MODERN MAIDEN
Last updated 08:40 05/10/2012

I can almost guarantee that every Modern Maiden has heard these words from a male: "Baby, condoms ruin the sensation."

What men do in that instant is relinquish what little power they do have in regards to birth control.

At the moment males who want to take control of their own contraception are limited to condoms or a vasectomy.

There is no male IUD, no injection, no implant in the forearm of our Modern Men. It has been the women who have learnt to be in control of protecting their bodies from pregnancy.

We've all heard the horror stories of unsafe sex leading to an unwanted pregnancy, at which point the male of the tango disappears, leaving the female to raise the child by herself.

It's a story designed to scare, and it has. So we've been tested, had devices inserted, taken pills every morning and been jabbed in the backside on a regular basis.

Last month US scientists announced a study has put the world one step closer to a male contraceptive pill, and in 15 years' time the dream could be a reality.
The announcement has lef

t some women jumping for joy, saluting Aphrodite and counting down the time until this pill, which is yet to be tested on humans, will be ready.

However, this invention has split our gender right down the middle, and the arguing has started. Whose responsibility is contraception?

While some are saying bring on the male contraceptive pill, others are saying, I am the mistress of my own fate, no way I will be letting a man take the responsibility of birth control.

There are women who have had enough of being constantly chemically imbalanced while the male of the species sows his seed everywhere, knowing, or maybe hoping that contraception is the responsibility of the women.

These women believe it's time for those with the Y chromosome to man up and take accountability.

Then there are women who say no way, I would have to carry the child in my womb, therefore I take full responsibility for my own body. Birth control has always been and will always be my job, not a male's. I've also heard women say men can't even remember to do their washing, so they are not reliable enough to remember to take the pill every day.

And yet my personal viewpoint is still different. I believe our Modern Men deserve the right to be able to take a contraceptive pill.

They deserve to be able to protect themselves against an unwanted pregnancy, to not fear that a woman may have forgotten to take her pill, to not worry about broken or pin-pricked condoms and to have the power to entirely choose who they have children with.

However, I also believe when this pill hits the shelves women should still be the master of their own birth control.

Just because a male will have the ability to take their own pill does not give a woman the right to throw away the responsibility we have to protect ourselves and our future. When men get the power of birth control without the loss of sensation, it does not mean that women lose any responsibility.

My concern is that when both genders have a little pill to stop unwanted pregnancies, condoms won't be used as regularly, leading to an epidemic of STIs.

This pill may empower males and give them an equally important role to play in birth control, only to make it easier for men and women to have sex without a condom, because what is seen as the worst STI of all - pregnancy, is no longer feared.

Condoms may dull the pleasure,  but short of abstinence they are the only way to avoid STIs. Unless you are in a relationship with someone and you've both had a check, it doesn't matter how many new forms of contraception they invent, it's still your responsibility to keep yourself healthy.

I will welcome the male contraceptive pill, in fact I will encourage all the Modern Men I know to use it. Hoping they will not fall victim to those crazy women who trick males into becoming a daddy.

But I'm a control freak and there is no way I will ever let the state of my body, my womb and my future be controlled by someone else.
So, when this male contraception pill comes out, my future partner and I will both take birth control with our breakfast.

At least that way I'm always there to say "Don't forget to take your pill hunny." 

- Taranaki

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