« Previous Story | Front Page | Next Story »


Pull Your Bottom Lip Over Your Head

By Bob Hooper
Opinion | February 24, 2012

BOGUE, Kan. - Full disclosure. It's been a long time since I was pregnant. In fact, I can't remember when. But I was bedside at my oldest daughter's arrival at Doc Limes' home-town maternity clinic.

I claim only to have been an amazed (and nervous) spectator, but I think I began to appreciate more the courage, strength, and miracle of women. Whatever men say, the best of us haven't a clue beyond that. Bill Cosby once asked Carol Burnett what birth pains were like.

"'Grab your lower lip," she said. "Now pull it over your head." Men know little about pregnancy or childbirth beyond the mechanics instigating the fact (and I've heard they're often klutzes there, too.).

Despite that, a gritty bunch of self-assured males in priestly vestment are confident artificial birth control is a sin. Whether they think it's a mortal or a venial sin is hard to pin down. However, their missionary position is this: sex for fun is agin' God's rules. It grates on God's nerves. Good women should wrestle in the hay strictly to procreate and bear children to fill pews today, coffers tomorrow. Otherwise, as Hamlet would advise, "Get thee to a nunnery."

It's surely possible to excommunicate or at least publicly humiliate the 99 percent of fertile American women who are or were, shall we say "doing it," while taking the Satanic pill. Given today's melodrama, I frankly can't see why the ultimate liturgical hammer hasn't dropped. Maybe the repercussions? After all, with all the ladies sent to Hell, who'd cook goodies for the potlucks?

There is a clerically sanctified escape route of sexual bingo, the "rhythm method." It has nothing to do with tambourines or tap dancing.

What you do (you being the female) is to try to figure out when you're fertile and when you're not. If you think you're not fertile, you can have fun and you probably won't bingo--which God would rather you did. Otherwise you'd just be, well, having fun. But God (anatomically a male) is no pushover. He designed females so the rhythm method works only a little better than 75 percent of the time. In this game, BINGO! means God wins. You have to deliver the prize...whatever it is.

Now, we could be talking about how women are not forced to take the pill. We could be talking about reasons women take it other than not getting pregnant -- like money. The average cost of an uncomplicated child birth is somewhere between $5 and $10 thousand, co-pay around $500. Add in monthly visits to the doc at $150 each.

Over 1 in 10 first-borns is premature. A study by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006 (it's surely higher now) found the average cost of dealing with a preemie was $47,000. One new mother's Caesarian, with 5 days hospitalization, cost $25,000. Co-pay "only" $1,000. Just a start. Then then there's the diapers, the baby sitters, the toys, the noises in the night, the days missed at work. Soon, higher auto insurance rates. College tuition. Rearing children is expensive.

In a recent NPR interview about birth control, Adam Sonfield of the Guttmacher Institute says it simply costs the health care system less money when couples plan their pregnancies.

"And that means healthier pregnancies and healthier infants," he says. "It means fewer pre-term births and low birth-weight baby births. It means starting prenatal care earlier. All those things also can lead to cost savings." Maybe you can begin to see why.

Most men think of the pill as being solely to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I did, too. But there are other reasons, I learned.

Oral birth control can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 40 to 70 percent, depending on how long it's taken. It can also improve the complexion, stop excessive hair growth, and make menstrual periods lighter and less painful. It can prevent or control endometriosis by stopping the growth of excessive uterine tissue. And there are no abortions among women who didn't get pregnant.

I saw a little of Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif) holier-than-thou, "it's-a-war-against religion" political hearing. All the witnesses allowed were religi-ossified males in ties, beanies and collars. They represented a decided minority of Americans. Indeed, they exemplified a reptilian segment of religion destined to evolve or die..

And if the war-on-women politicians hope their one-act play will win an Emmy come November, I think they'll learn otherwise. In the meantime, they should all grab their bottom lips and pull them over their heads.


6 Comments

A little humor along the way, but a good solid approach to the issue.

I don't make fun of anyone for their theology, but I don't take lightly their attempt to force their theology, through civil law, on me.


For all women who want to control how many children they have, I thank you, Bob. And thanks to all the other men who fight this battle with us. Diane


"I don't take lightly their attempt to force their theology, through civil law, on me."

How does the current situation RE contraception "force their theology" on you? By Catholics saying its bad, and refusing to pay for it - how does that force anything on you? (other than forcing individuals that want contraception to pay for it themselves - admittedly truly shocking concept)


My wife had 2 children and had a spinal tap so she didnt feel much pain. I think you and Cosby are living in the past.


Some of us may be living in the past (you'll understand that better in 25 or 30 yrs.) but the big problem is: too many are living in denial of inequities and anomolies of the present.

Believe it or not, there are people, Doctors included, who believe only natural child birth is God's will. If you'd lived in some rural areas, your wife might have had to drive several miles further to find a Dr. and facility for your children's births. And only 2 children isn't the norm without some kind of contraceptive devise. You might have needed to shop in another community or use mail order. The drummer and the flutist sometimes aren't dancing to the same rhythm. A toe gets stepped on and someone loses their grip. ooops, number 3s on the way.


Sorry, Brad, to have missed your comment. Your wife didn't have a spinal "tap" but a spinal block or an epidural shot.It works fine some some women, but not for others. You can learn more at http://www.babycenter.com/0_spinal-block-for-labor-pain_1489918.bc

An aside to Schyler: Insurance companies pay for birth control measures, That's because, overall, it saves insurance companies money. Churches, as opposed to schools and hospitals, do not have to use insurers that provide birth control. And, as noted, churches are always free to excommunicate or otherwise remove from membership women who do use artificial birth control.


Post your own comment here


Do you want to read more? You've only just scratched the surface at the Kansas Free Press. We have so much more to read! Nearly all of the pieces published here are timeless and relevant, regardless of when the articles were first published. To discover more, please take a look at our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:



About This Page

This page contains just one story published on February 24, 2012. The one written previous to this is titled "PACing 'em in Congress" and the story published right after this one is "Religious Mischief Behind All-faith Chapel"

Our most current stories are always updated on our Front Page.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to poke around in our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

Recently Featured Stories

My Response As a Kansan to Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti has come on board The Nation magazine to fill in for Katha Pollitt as the feminist columnist while Pollitt is on leave to write a book. I've found reading Valenti's columns thought-provoking and insightful. She often takes …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Roots of the n-word

While N-word dialogue has slackened following Saline County Commissioner Gile's use of it recently, the word still has great power. So, let's look inward at the N-word. To reach a much deeper path to understanding, simply go to Ad …
Corporate Tax Reform

Basehor, Kans.--For an interesting twist on the corporate tax debate, look at Alan Sloan's opinion in the April 29 issue of Fortune Magazine. In all of the froth about corporate taxation, neither proponents of tax reduction, nor corporate critics, …

News and Opinion





Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of KansasFreePress.com. If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press, KansasFreePress.com, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.