You could say that I grew up in a household that was – well – open. None of us were shy with our opinions or feelings and so when I read on The Atlantic Wire that Rick Santorum’s buddy Foster Friess announced that back in the good old days women just put Bayer aspirin between their knees for contraception I thought, “Hm, isn’t that something my dad said to me in high school?”
The answer, undoubtedly is ‘yes’ but the difference is that my dad didn’t really mean it because, pardon me, that’s an archaic thing to say.
There have been endless television discussions, articles and blogs written about the Catholic church and the contraception issue. Most of them I find to be equal parts puzzling and absurd. So much so that I usually can’t watch for very long because I get angry, like, very angry, like been on hold with Comcast for 30 minutes because I took half a day off work for an installation and they still haven’t shown up in their window of time angry.
How could we make something so difficult? All women should have equal access to affordable contraception so they can better control their health and their future irregardless of the type of organization they work for.
Or, in other words, a person’s moral fiber and religious fortitude can never truly be judged by a prescription and an institution should never have the authority to make personal, biological decisions for large groups of people. Case closed.
Have we not forgotten that since contraception has become more readily available and socially accepted, we have more women going to college and taking leadership roles in the workplace and communities. While, I might add, continuing to have children.
And although I could go on quite a rant about the politics of child bearing and the way that women have, historically, been meaningful only in their capacity to produce offspring which guarantees the dynastic passing down of wealth and lands, I won’t.
Instead, I will mention that this public discussion has moved from being an equal access issue to that of religious liberty which is a concept that I do not entirely understand because in this case it means we should not cover contraception but it means in other cases that clergy who molest children are not punished within the dictates of criminal law. Have we not forgotten that religious liberty cannot exist without the absolute guarantee that individual liberty is inalienable?
But why make it this difficult?
It’s true, the Catholic Church is archaic in holding fast to a rule that no one follows. This makes the Catholic Church shortsighted. If the Church’s goal is to guide parishioners in the teachings of Christ and how to show compassion and leadership through words and deeds, then a focus on this healthcare issue instead of the larger theological issue at hand is unfortunate.
It’s also true that this is great campaign trail material for a political party that thrives on discussions of morals and values which the politicians themselves cannot abide by. (insert sex scandal here)
To close, whether paid for by an insurance company, a church, or with cash on the black market, women will always find and utilize contraception. Why? Because even if our church or our government believes it or not, we are not primarily breeding machines waiting to take orders from old men who have never had a period before in their life much less the daunting task of pregnancy.
There, I said it. I feel much better.