Posted: 02/09/12 16:25
by Dave Mindeman
I have a hard time believing that we are going to have to rehash the old birth control arguments. But here we are.
When Obama issued the mandate that employer backed insurance must include birth control tablet coverage the reaction has indeed been curious.
The pushback from Catholic Bishops is the most curious. Since they are all men, as mandated by the church, the idea that they would control the issue is almost funny. And when you take into accout this recent poll....even more so:
A majority (55%) of Americans agree that ?employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.
But there is a more important element....
Roughly 6-in-10 Catholics (58%) believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception.
Are the Bishops speaking for the laity? Obviously not, but then Catholic laypeople have always diverged from their religious leadership. It is one of the ironic nuances of this paternalistic religion.
Still the rise of Rick Santorum raises another issue about birth control. Or as he puts it....the promiscuity threat.
But before we look at Santorum's argument, let's get the correlation between unwanted pregnancy and birth control pills or devices. This study states the facts:
The study found that in 2008, just 67.8 per every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19 got pregnant. That?s down from 1990′s high point, when 116.9 out of every 1,000 became pregnant. ?Continuing decreases in teen pregnancy more recently may be driven by increased use of the most effective contraceptive methods as well as dual method use,? the Guttmacher Institute explained. ?In sum, teens appear to be making the decision to be more effective contraceptive users, and their actions are paying off in lower pregnancy, birth and abortion rates.?
Let's also make the larger correlation. Less unwanted pregnancies, less abortions. Isn't that the larger goal?
But let's return to Rick Santorum. Here's his opinion:
?One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.......Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that?s okay, contraception is okay. It?s not okay. It?s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.?
Santorum believes that the punishment for teens having sex is the pregnancy itself. You can't allow teens to have birth control...they need to face their potential punishment.
It always confuses me that the most ardent anti-choice people are also against the most effective method of preventing abortions...birth control.
Pregnancies should be planned, safe, wanted and welcomed.
Not a punishment from the moral order.