Crazy on Contraception
A Bush administration HHS nominee is getting grief for his involvement with a pregnancy center that believes: “that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.”
Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful — to men and women. Tell me I’m crazy.
I second Andrew Sullivan here: She’s crazy.
The ability to enjoy a healthy sex life while minimizing the risk of an unwanted pregnancy is anything but “adverse to human health and happiness;” indeed, it contributes tremendously to both. If you want to see a society that’s degrading and disrespectful to women, randomly pick one that bans or ostracizes the use of contraceptives. Women there are usually, quite literally, barefoot and pregnant, from roughly the onset of puberty until menopause. They are also virtually without power economically, legally, or politically.
The taboo against contraception remains from an culture wherein girls were married off at age 12 or 13 and had their first of a dozen or so babies (presuming they survived childbirth) a year or so later. These days, advances in health care and nutrition have sped up the onset of puberty while the move away from an agrarian economy has postponed marriage and child rearing ten, fifteen, or twenty years. In this context, the idea that people should wait until they’re married to have sex–and then only if they are trying to get pregnant–is indeed crazy.