Bogus Birth Control Controversy

President Obama’s mandate requiring free access to contraception with virtually no employer exemption is at core a consitutional threat to religious liberty, not a heated debate about contraception and Church teaching. However, it quickly turned into that.

So now that we’re on the subject.

Advocates of President Obama’s contraception mandate should admit that its main purpose is sexual liberation and not “women’s health,” according to a feminist author who supports the mandate.

“The phrase ‘women’s health’ in the birth control dispute is the latest nimble euphemism,” author and blogger Pamela Haag wrote in a Feb. 17 essay published on the “Marriage 3.0” blog.

 

Access to contraception, she said, “isn’t really about my ‘health.’ It’s not principally about the management of ovarian cysts or the regulation of periods.”

“Birth control isn’t about my health unless by ‘health’ you mean, my capacity to get it on, to have a happy, joyous sex life that involves an actual male partner,” wrote Haag, criticizing White House supporters for discussing contraceptives mainly as “preventive services” for women’s health.

“The point of birth control is to have sex that’s recreational and non-procreative,” wrote Haag approvingly. “It’s to permit women to exercise their desires without the ‘sword of Damocles’ of unwanted pregnancy hanging gloomily over their heads.”

In recent posts on CNA’s Catholic Womanhood page, columnists attacked the mandate from various angles – some addressed the issue of religious freedom while others questioned the validity of abortifacients, sterilization and contraception being labeled as “basic medical care” for women.

The articles come amid a storm of protest over the administration’s Jan. 20 announcement that religious institutions will have to cover these services in employer-provided health insurances plans.

Now, before anyone gets too hot and bothered over the topic du jour of contraception and whether or not the government (ahem, the taxpayers, aka you and I) should pony up the cash to make it free for all, let’s take a moment to examine the science behind that wonder pill that has freed women from the tyranny of childbearing and the slavery of motherhood and ask ourselves frankly, “has it all been worth it?”

I’ve seen more passion on Facebook in the past three weeks over bedroom matters than can be contained in the entire Twilight series,  and then some.

It would seem that the argument, rather than being framed as a matter of religious freedom has become something more of an entitlement issue: Do American women have the right to demand, from their fellow citizens, a subsidized supply of contraceptive drugs or devices in order to manage their sex lives?

It’s a lively debate, to put it mildly. Women are engaged.

Including this powerful nun named Mother Angelica. Whose concern is at least as much about constitutionally protected religious liberty as anything.

This article was originally published on MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons Licence. If you enjoyed this article, visit MercatorNet.com for more.

Sheila Gribben Liaugminas

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Sheila Gribbens Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago journalist with extensive experience in both secular and religious journalism. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of the Church, faith, culture, politics and the media. For more than twenty years she reported for Time magazine out of the Midwest Bureau in Chicago—and at WMAQ-TV, Chicago's NBC-owned station, she was co-host of the program 'YOU'. She has hosted three radio programs, “The Right Questions” and “Issues & Answers” for Relevant Radio, and "America's Lifeline" on the Salem network. Sheila currently is the Host of "A Closer Look", an hour long news analysis program on Relevant Radio and serves as the Network News Director. She can be heard reading the Sunday Gospel and doing narratives on www.H2oNews.org in the English edition. She has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Crisis Magazine, National Catholic Register, Catholic New World, MercatorNet and the National Review Online.

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