Addressing Zika Means Talking About Sex

Addressing Zika Means Talking About Sex June 29, 2016

There’s this disease that can be transmitted sexually but we’re not going to give any funding to institutions that deal with sexual education, health, or planning! Sigh.

Mosquitoes. Image from Wikimedia under a Creative Commons license.
Mosquitoes. Image from Wikimedia under a Creative Commons license.

This headline from the Huffington Post says it all: GOP’s Zika Bill Limits Contraception Access and Prevents Planned Parenthood From Helping.

Basically, there’s new funding allocated to help prevent the spread of Zika virus, but that doesn’t extend to things like birth control or contraception… because it’s not like Zika impacts pregnant women or anything, right? *eyeroll*

I’m concerned in part because I live in Indiana, and we’ve had confirmation of Zika being present here since February. We have crappy public sex education, in part because our state legislators spend more time worrying about gender in bathrooms than actually addressing things like our lack of sex ed and our high rates of sexual violence. (no, I’m not angry about all this, why do you ask?)

I don’t have much else to say because I’m too busy fuming at the moment, but it comes down to this: when you have a virus that can be spread by sexual transmission, you have to talk about sex and you have to allocate funding accordingly. That means more comprehensive sex education, more money to the organizations working to bring access to contraception to all, and so on. Maybe it’s a tough conversation for some to have (especially if you don’t identify as sex-positive), but it’s a necessary one.

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