Monday, January 30, 2012

Religious Groups Upset That They Have to Protect Women's Rights and Follow the Law

I've already written a long post on why the outcry from some religious groups over the administration's decision to require all institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception is ridiculous.So I'm not going to go into another rant. But the New York Times published an article today on the controversy the mandate is causing among Catholic universities, in particular, and I wanted to highlight one section I found particularly terrifying.

"Mr. Santorum has taken the position that health insurance plans should not be required to cover birth control. He also favors allowing states to decide whether to ban birth control. He and Mr. Gingrich both support “personhood” initiatives that would legally declare fertilized eggs to be persons, effectively banning not just all abortions but also certain contraceptives, including IUDs and some types of birth control pills."

I know I've said this before, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, but this is why it is so important that we protect access to contraception. Because the religious groups that are upset over having to provide coverage for contraception think of contraception as "poison," and "baby killers" and "murder." They literally think it is "demonic" and that Obama is Satan (I can't find links to these now, but I promise these make up the majority of comments on Catholic blogs). And they don't want anyone in the U.S. to have access to it. They want contraception to be illegal.

This is religious extremism at its worst.

This is not a murder weapon.
 P.S. Do you support the Obama administration's decision to protect women's rights? Send him a thank you note.


  1. Thanks for your insights, Shannon. As a product of 16 years of Catholic education, including a Catholic (well - sort of) university, I was shocked that neither the health center nor affiliated hospital were allowed to distribute birth control, even for friends who needed it for exclusively medical purposes such as debilitating pain during menstruation. I don't know why the Church won't get with the 21st Century and acknowledge that their women religious are on the forefront of family planning initiatives in places like the DRC.

    At the same time, I think given that American (and Western) women have access to resources and information (relative to the rest of the world's women), we have a duty to ensure that the research, processing, and even advertising of birth control is pro-woman (not sexist, not based on lies, etc.).

  2. Thanks for sharing about your experience at Catholic schools. I think it is so awful that women who work or attend these schools can't have access to contraception. And I couldn't agree with you more about the Church needing to get with the 21st century and acknowledge that women religious are on the forefront of family planning initiatives, or that the majority of Catholic women want and use birth control. American nuns, like nuns all over the world, are so amazing and awesome.

    As a Catholic myself, it makes me sad to see that so much of this dialogue is being manipulated by a powerful few. Especially when, due to the hierarchy, the powerful few are all celibate men! The anger being expressed by the USCCB isn't catholic in the true, universal sense of the word.

    I also think it is important that Catholic women see how much issues such as contraception, and even femininity, are frequently tied up with the "pro-life" movement (I prefer the term anti-choice personally). I feel like I know lots of Catholic women who seem to think the pro-life movement is not about them or their rights or their womanhood; they think it is about Other Women. But they're using birth control and would loathe it if the Church took it away. And I get so frustrated because I want them to see that it isn't just about abortion, and it won't stop at abortion. It is about them, because they're women, and control of women/women's rights is largely what the whole thing is about.

    P.S. I love your blog! I was going to shoot you an email saying hi, but I can't find any contact info on your blog. If you don't mind sharing it with me, you can send it to me via email at hill.shannonpatgmail or use the email button at the top of the blog.