Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nun Admits Catholic Anger Over Birth Control Mandate Has Everything To Do With Sexual Politics

In the above video, which is meant to support the idea that the birth control mandate violates religious freedom, Sister Sharon argues that the Catholic response has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with having sex and protecting "true femininity."

Sister Sharon starts off by saying that "contraception isn't healthcare." She also claims that it is a carcinogen and linked to breast cancer. What she fails to mention is that compared to other reproductive and lifestyle factors that affect breast cancer risk, the increase in risk associated with the oral contraceptive is very small, and that oral contraceptives have been proven to reduce rates of endometrial and ovarian cancer by 50% or more.

She then goes on to say that "any drug that we as women are taking that is actually promoting sterility and suppressing our fertility is not healthcare, it is actually us as women not understanding what it means to be a woman and to be truly free... When we as women understand how God made our bodies and what it means to be truly feminine, it gives us the power to give ourselves as a gift to those we're married to. It helps me understand who I am as a woman, what it means to be a woman, what it truly means to be a maternal woman" (emphasis mine).

According to Sister Sharon, the purpose of the birth control mandate is part of a larger agenda to promote sexually irresponsible behavior. And for her, sexually irresponsible behavior means having sex without intent to procreate. She goes on to say that, "This is about having sex. It isn't about healthcare. If people want to have sex, and misuse their gift of sexuality, and want to rely on a chemical component to stop them from getting pregnant and separate sex from marriage and sex from babies, of course bad things are going to happen."

The video is worth watching because it is a good example of some of the rhetoric going on inside the Church re: the birth control mandate. It shows the roots of the outrage and the gendered theology that surrounds contraception. It is also proof that feminists have been right all along; this has nothing to do with healthcare, and everything to do with women's sexuality.

Straight from the horse's mouth folks.

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