When the Obama administration made the decision not to exempt Catholic hospitals and universities from the mandate to provide insured employees with contraceptives, morning after pills, and sterilization without a co-pay, one of those consulted was Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. Richards obviously has a special interest in having contraception covered, since dispensing contraception is a major part of their business model. It may be ‘free’ to the woman, but Planned Parenthood will be paid for providing the service.
While those who support the right to life regard any collaboration with America’s largest abortion provider as irredeemable, stained with the blood of millions of aborted babies, the administration appears to view Planned Parenthood as an authority on women’s health issues. The opponents of the mandate insist that their objection is centered on the mandate’s violation of Constitutional protection of freedom of religion; those defending the mandate argue that it will protect women’s health. While the Church would oppose the mandate even if it had no negative health consequences, there is ample evidence that giving unmarried women free contraception encourages them to engage in sexual relations with one or more partners. Besides exposing these women to sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy, each sexual relationship which does not lead to marriage, breaks up and these broken relationships leave emotional scars.
Those pushing contraception on unmarried women do not discuss this all too common consequence. For example, Planned Parenthood has a website designed to help teenagers decide, “Am I ready for sex?” Nowhere does the site deal with what happens when the sexual relationship a young woman decides she is ‘ready for’ ends. Rather than following Planned Parenthood’s advice, before a young woman decides to engage in sex she should ask herself, “Am I ready for how I will feel when this relationship breaks up?”
Young women need to know that intimate sexual relations trigger the production of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone causes the woman to trust her partner and to feel bonded to him. This is particularly dangerous if the young man is not trustworthy and sees the relationship merely as temporary recreation. ‘Hooking up’ literally hooks the woman emotionally, and when the man walks out, the woman often finds it difficult to un-bond. This can lead to depression or even suicidal ideation. A study by the Heritage Foundation found that sexually active teenager girls are three times more likely than non-sexually active teenagers to be depressed or attempt suicide. The ‘hooked’ young woman may try to kill the pain with drugs and alcohol, or rush into another relationship, only to experience yet another rejection.
There is no pill to prevent emotional bonding. Condoms don’t protect the heart. One has to ask if those pushing contraception on young unmarried women really care about these women.