Ladies, do you want to be WELL ACTUALLY-ed about your personal health care decisions by a Major League Baseball player on Twitter? Eh, it was a rhetorical question, you never really get to choose this sort of thing. Anyway, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Matt Garza is here for you on this, and in these trying times.
To ask the question I ask myself seemingly every 15 minutes these days, how did we get here? On Thursday night, award-winning actress Jessica Chastain tweeted her dismay at the U.S. Senate's middle-of-the-night vote to get the ball rolling on dismantling the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, among other things, requires most insurance plans to provide coverage for birth control.
While 28 states now have their own laws requiring insurers to cover birth control, too, that would still leave plenty of women scrambling to afford basic health care should Republicans make good on their promises to repeal. Enter Garza, who confidently displays all the sexual health expertise you might expect from a baseball player who has scored exactly six times since turning pro.
About an hour after Chastain tweeted, the 33-year-old right-hander and father of six helpfully chimed in to explain to her, and to the rest of the internet, that if a woman doesn't want to get pregnant she should just not have sex of any sort. And while Garza complains about "this generation"—of thirty-something adults, I guess? Chastain is 39—forgetting the word abstinence, he also ignores... well, a lot. He ignores the fact that women are prescribed birth control for all sorts of reasons beyond not wanting to have a baby at that particular moment, whether they're a teenager or the married mother of, say, six. Menstrual cramps, for example, can be pretty painful to experience once a month, and hormonal birth control is often used to alleviate them.
(For any pitchers reading this who haven't experienced the joy of your body expelling uterine lining once a month, imagine being on the mound for your team in a crucial postseason game and all of a sudden your hand starts bleeding and you kind of feel like shit. It would totally suck, right? And that's just one of the more common non-contraceptive reasons women use birth control!)
More widespread and accessible birth control is one of the great success stories for women in the 20th century. It not only helps us economically, as Chastain mentions; not popping out babies all the time can also be good for our health. And coming as he does from an industry where people still lose their shit when a player takes off like, ONE DAY to witness the birth of his child, Garza should maybe understand why women might be concerned about getting pregnant, and want to have some say in when that happens without giving up sex altogether.