Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On the contra-contraception conniptions

I have been trying seems like forever, but it's probably only been days to wrap my brain around the Catholic bishop's argument against allowing people in their employ to get the contraception that would be provided by the insurer as part of the insurance policy.  I really am trying to understand, to try to find an equivalent situation where my beliefs would be so strong that I would say, "No, I cannot bear to have any possible part in other people making their own moral and ethical decisions that are against no law but are against my own morals." I just can't come up with an equivalent that allows me to comprehend their argument.

I find myself going to extremes, thinking, "Well, you probably shouldn't pay them either, since they may do something you find immoral with the money--like buying birth control."  I find myself asking, "Does the Christian Science Monitor offer health insurance benefits to its employees?" (Yes, they do.)

I have been floored by the comments I've been hearing: that women should "keep their legs together," that birth control is "a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be," and similar notions. In a way, I'm glad to get them out in the open where we can look at them, go "wha?! You mean people in this day and age actually think that?", and then do our best to counter-argue.

One of the things that ticks me off most about this argument is that I haven't heard much mention of the fact that birth control pills can be used for other medical reasons not related to birth control.  A very good friend of mine used them for endometriosis; another friend who had both ovaries removed  also used them.  Neither was able to conceive and in fact both of them had to go to great lengths to have children.  And yet, as I visited my friend in the hospital after emergency surgery to remove her ovary, I heard that she was unable to get the pill because the only pharmacy available to her that day was that of the Catholic hospital.

It is irrational that hospitals cannot provide treatments because a particular religious group doesn't like something else that the treatment does. It is unconscionable that one group should block any means for others to live according to the law and in keeping with their ethics.  Keeping your legs together will not control the pain of endometriosis.  And requiring women to buy birth control from the salaries you give them just means reducing their pay, not keeping you pure.

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