Tuesday, July 19, 2011


On my way to work this morning I heard a report on a news program about the possibility of birth control being considered a "preventive" health measure, making it essentially free through insurance programs. One of the statistics was startling: one out of two pregnancies in this day and age are unplanned. Half. (I write that for emphasis, not because I think you can't do the math.)

There are proponents of this measure, of course, and there are opponents. The opponents come down heavily on two sides: conscience, and morality. On the conscience side the argument is that those who don't believe in "artificial" birth control would essentially be paying through their insurance plan to support the cost of contraceptive for others. I hear that, but the argument doesn't wash for me. I'm a pacifist who pays taxes, and I'm not overjoyed that a portion of my tax dollars supports the military-industrial-complex. Does that mean that the government shouldn't dole out money to the Department of Defense because of my belief system?

That would be an emphatic "no." Instead of railing against the system (although there are certainly those that do, some more constructively and thoughtfully than others) I choose to invest my efforts by living in a way that exemplifies my values, and hope that there are opportunities for others to see the positive impact of those values not only at work in my life, but as a postive impact on others.

There is a bigger picture here than individual belief systems, even when those beliefs are shared by other. The implications of policies that make birth control available as a preventive measure aren't about flaunting one belief over another. They are in place to assist families, and particularly the poor, in making decisions freely about their own lives and the size of families and the spacing of the birth of their children. Such freedoms benefit all of us. It's how we live together, experience the ebb and flow of our challenges and joys, and work our way through the life's labyrinths toward liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As for morality--come see me when the death penalty has been abolished.


Terri said...

Women with financial resources at their disposal will be able to make choices regarding their health and reproductive choices. Women with few or no resources do not, this measure to help women have a fair opportunity to make the healthy decision for them. And as long as we live in a world where 100% of the responsibility for a pregnancy falls on the woman, because men and boys are often NOT proactive in their sexual responsibilities, then we need systems in place that enable all women an equal opportunity for responsible sexual lives.

The Bug said...

Amen sister! Why I remember back when contraceptives weren't even covered AT ALL by insurance. I wanted to get my tubes tied because I knew I didn't want children & I wanted control over my own body. But at 28 I was considered too young for that.

prudy said...

we adopted four children so for those who get "caught" there are many parents waiting to welcome them with open arms. as for the death penalty....we seem to be enamored of the old testament god...someday...we will wake up like most of the world has done.

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