Paradoxes come in all varieties and magnitudes and are a part of nearly all facets of day-to-day living.

For example, how is it possible that not all of my black tops will perfectly match the color of my black pants? Isn’t all black the same?

However, forget for a moment that these inexplicable blips appear to defy all common sense and make an attempt to reason away one paradox in particular – the Bush administration’s views on sex.

It would stand to reason that Bush and his gang would like to criminalize sex before marriage.

At least, that is the most logical conclusion that I can draw from their move to increase the budget for abstinence-only sexual education, along with their push for decreasing the number of abortions currently administered for unwanted pregnancies.

Nevertheless, at the same time that they are promoting abstinence and warning off abortions, the administration has deemed Viagra, along with similar drugs, to be worthy enough to gain coverage under Medicare’s new prescription benefit plan.

Granted, most people eligible to receive Medicare are over the age of 65 and past childbearing age.

However, the bulk of the inconsistency comes into focus when examining other health insurance plans and Medicaid, programs that cover younger adults.

The reason for this is that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now requires all state Medicaid programs to include Viagra when covering prescription drugs.

Yet, they are not required to cover any methods of birth control or fertility treatments for women. Therefore, most of them do not.

The more logical step to take here would be to have all Medicaid programs cover birth control, as well as Viagra.

Unless they take this step, their new message to adults, both young and old, will be to have sex and to make babies, without being fully mature and prepared for the consequences.

This is not to say that those suffering from erectile dysfunction should not have easy access to Viagra.

In fact, all people should have the equal opportunity both to have sex and to be safe when having sex.

So yes, let the government make Viagra more available to men, but let it also promote all forms of birth control, in the sexual education class at high schools, in our health insurance plans and at the drug stores.

Our current government lives in a separate reality all of their own, in a world where the only people using Viagra will be old, married men and where nobody is having sex before marriage.

If life really were like this, there would not be such an urgent necessity for cheap birth control pills to prevent unwanted pregnancies or for abortions that are not life-threatening for the mother.

Living in an alternate reality must be the answer to this particular paradox.

How else could one explain each step taken by the Bush administration to simultaneously promote Viagra and abstinence, while attempting to limit birth control availability and to denormalize abortions?

Kline can be reached at mkline@campustimes.org.



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