Have YOU got my pills?

There are two delightful new attacks on women’s health for us to ponder today.

On the one hand, the Pentagon is announcing that women in the military are to be given closer access to combat roles. This reflects both the reality of modern-day warfare and a growing acceptance of women’s capabilities on the battlefield.

On the other hand, women across the country are up in arms about a different attack on their health. Believe or not, in this day and age, the availability of a fundamental element of health care, contraception, is under threat.

While these are both attacks on women’s wellbeing, the message they send is curiously mixed.

According to the Pentagon, the 14% of the U.S. military comprised of female-Americans will now be able to serve in a variety of wartime roles that will put them closer to combat situations. It seems they’ve proved themselves in the theater of war.

But according to certain Inquisition-era forces that remain influential, estrogen-Americans may have proved themselves on the battlefield but religious groups shouldn’t be required to meet certain nationally accepted requirements for women’s health care. Our government, in the name of “religious freedom,” is to acknowledge these backwards forces as preeminent over the personal decision-making of American citizens.

So which is it, America? Are women truly equal members of society, even unto the battlefield? Or are they childlike creatures to be kept under the paternalistic care of better-knowing overlords—many of whom, incidentally, have no personal knowledge of a woman’s reproductive system?

Keep on spinning, America. Spin ’til you get dizzy and fall down.