Reproductive Rights

I was up in arms about the all male panel on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform hearings on the contraceptive coverage rule when I saw the photo depicting these religious leaders and professors on ethics and religion:

Rev. William Lori, Roman Catholic bishop of Bridgeport, Conn.; Rev. Matthew Harrison, the president of the Lutheran Church in Missouri; Ben Mitchell, a professor of moral philosophy at Union University; Rabbi Meir Solveichik, from Yeshiva University; and Craig Mitchell, a professor of ethics at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I thought they don’t have vagina’s. Why is it up to them?  When my disgust showed on my face my husband understood but then said, “This is about religion, not contraception.”

I am all for religious freedom but I think the personal matter of contraception is just that, personal. And I know plenty of people of all faiths that don’t live by the strictest of virtues set by their religions. I think that if someone works for a religious organization, but personally wants access to birth control then it’s none of that organizations business.  It is between the individual and the insurance. The employer should not have a say so in that.

My DH believes it is the right of the religious organization, to have the freedom to stick to its principles. I say that is a slippery slope. Seperation of Church and State and my individual rights etc. DH said if a person wants contraceptive coverage they can work some place else. That may be true, but jobs are hard to come by.

Then DH asked, “When was the last time your health insurance covered birth control?”

The last time I was on birth control was five years ago.  And my insurance hadn’t covered birth control pills in the years previous. So is this all a moot point? Whose insurance covers contraceptive birth control any more? Heck I’m in search of a family health insurance plan now.  I don’t know how we’ll afford it. I’m scared to find out how much it will cost us. And I’m even more afraid of a government-run insurance because well, look at the state of things. Where would contraception fall between the Democrats and Republicans?

Why are religious conservatives afraid of contraception?

I could go on and on. My answer is this. If you don’t want to take a pill then don’t take it. If you don’t want to terminate a pregnancy, then don’t. But just because you choose not to, don’t stop me from doing it. You would never know by looking at me if I used contraceptives or had an abortion.

Moving on from the circular arguments I found Jena McGregor‘s post in The Washington Post today: Absence of women at birth-control hearing prompts larger question

I liked what she had to say. We need more women in positions of influence making decisions about women’s lives.

Whatever your beliefs or preferences I am glad in the United States of America we have the freedom to express them. Please don’t repress my rights to choose them.


3 thoughts on “Reproductive Rights

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  1. Hi Holly! I followed your link from Blooming Late on She Writes.

    I am a woman of the left on most issues, consider myself a (pro-life) feminist and think that a single-payer health care system would be the best way for Americans to get healthcare. That said, however, I also think that contraception (or prescription drugs that treat erectile dysfunction, for that matter) should not be part of healthcare benefits. Contraception is a means of trying to separate sex from its natural outcome, pregnancy. Too many people feel entitled to sex without consequences. A century ago, that would have seemed immoral to almost everybody. Now almost everybody takes contraception for granted.

    And why do religious conservatives seem to be so afraid of contraception? It might be because contraceptive sex is “unnatural”, ergo a form of sodomy. Sodomy is one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance in the Catholic tradition, along with willful murder (that includes abortion), oppression of the poor and defrauding laborers of their wages.* This also explains in large part why Catholicism is against homosexual activity, as opposed to people who feel same-sex attraction. I consider myself affectively bisexual but am chaste because I believe that God wants me to be. I have never felt discriminated against in the Catholic Church because of my sexual orientation, although I will admit that there is relatively little organized in the Catholic Church specifically for single adults over 40 who are not interested in heterosexual marriage: when I participate in the Legion of Mary or the Lay Carmelites, I usually find myself with women who are or have been married.

    Because contraceptive sex is apparently a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, religiously conservative Catholics (and other Christians) feel the need to tell people who are using contraception that they are in the wrong, and to strive to make access to contraception as inconvenient as possible. If a couple does not want children, then they should not be sexually active — and that goes for married couples as well.

    * By the way, it is a shame that more Catholics do not get as upset about the growing gap between rich and poor, or how workers throughout the world are exploited and expected to work impossibly long hours. But that is another discussion.

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