Contraception and the Affordable Care Act: The Loaded Question of Reproductive Rights.
This is a question that every child asks their parents in their formative years. What’s attached to it is varies, but it is always present, often interspersed with “Can I have...?” Often, children start out with demanding the things they want, a practice that gets corrected, but never quite eliminated and is carried throughout their lives. Questioning the status quo in order to rebut the denials to what it is you want are something that has fallen by the wayside as time moves along, and is something that society condones and condemns concurrently.
The great tug of war about contraception and its ability to be covered by standard health insurance is a battle ground long since that should have been over, and yet the opposition still remains strong. Of course, the sheer insanity of the opposing position is mind-boggling in its contradictory nature, and the arguments that they make only serve to advertise their blanket need to be in control of people’s lives. At this point in human history, they should probably know better than to assume they can tell people how to think.
The most common argument for easy access to contraception across the board is that if teenagers have access to them, their more likely to have sex. News flash: teenagers are already having sex, and lack of proper sex education and contraceptives is not going to stop them. Lack of consistent use of contraceptives accounts for a majority of unplanned pregnancy. Giving teenagers reasonable access to contraceptives and educating them about them, will not only reduce the chances of teen pregnancy, but also reduce the odds of a pregnant woman seeking abortion, a much debated volatile topic in this country.
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, and contains within it benefits for copay-free access to contraceptives for women. Those protesting this law claim that it violates constitutional law. The First Amendment, the freedom of speech and religion. As the California Supreme Court held, “Catholic [organizations’] compliance with a law regulating health care benefits is not speech.” A prevailing clause gives employers the right to refuse coverage based on their own religious beliefs. Opposition also proposes that enforcement of the law for religious institutions is a violation of their freedom of religion. This is hypocritical in the fact that they use this excuse in order to force their moral perspective on other’s constitutional right, impeding the free speech of others that they claim to have lost.
For all the claims of acting for the benefit of families, of mother and child, as a blockade against contraception, this is in reality a self-delusion, especially on the part of male opponents. The deceit of protecting families by opposing contraception lies in the fact that they aren’t protecting them, they are dictating their decisions. A family is, at its heart, a microcosm of a government, and a larger system of government only holds so much power over the smaller one. It is built into our system that should the few violate the rights of the many, then it is time for the few to be overthrown, as they have proven not fit to be in charge.
It is also built in that there is a separation of church and state, so that religious views of one group do not overpower the rest, and yet for all our talk of being an independent state, we still find ourselves being governed by a foreign nation, as recognized by the UN, in a subliminal way that’s not. I wasn’t aware we had been colonized by the Vatican. How much freedom of religion can we have if one religion rules us all? Moral guidance is all well and good, and every person must choose their own path, and some paths may cross, but no one has the right make another’s choices for them if they are of sound mind and body to make their own.
When it comes down to it, the obstacles in the path of reproductive rights are paternal against the maternal, and even though women outnumber men at this point in this country, if not the world, we are still losing because we are unable to restore the balance. The illusion of morality overshadows the intent of control, and it is time that the light is shined of the truth of the matter. The issues of contraception and abortion are used to usurp and maintain control over women. Otherwise the concept on improving women’s health shouldn’t be such a big issue. How is improving the lives of over half the population of the planet in contention? It should be a galactic no-brainer, but because some object to some of the stipulation, that is in essence, being able to make your own choices about your own body.
That is what all these issues come down to, and maybe hidden in the background but they are there. The ability to govern ourselves, our bodies. We are asking for the right make our own decisions without obstacle or influence outside of ourselves, unless the choice comes at the cost of our own detriment. We are asking, no demanding, the right to choose to yes or no as we wish, and having someone else overriding our will with theirs. Do you know what that is? THAT is someone violating our rights. They are raping our rights, and it’s time to take them back. It is long past time.
Reproductive rights are human rights, and as such, fall under international regulations, and violators of them are considered as threats to mankind and enemies of humanity, and should be arrested and prosecuted as such, for the tyranny that they wield over so many. And until men develop the ability to conceive and carry children, it should not be in their hands to dictate what we can and cannot do with our reproductive organs. Nor should it be representatives that decide these laws but truly in the hands of the people.
So the question still remains: why? Why should we have affordable, reasonable access to contraception? Why should we have the right to get an abortion, as well as the choice not to? Why should we receive comprehensive education about our bodies as a standard part of our formal education, instead of the hope and prayer that we know what we’re doing. Why should we actually be a nation governed “of the people, by the people, for the people” instead of the theocracy that seems to be a viral infection within our own government? All these questions, plus so many more remain unanswered until we can counter them with the answer: Why not?
Gedicks, Frederick Mark, With Religious Liberty for All: A Defense of the Affordable Care Act's Contraception Coverage Mandate (October 18, 2012). American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Issue Brief, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2163631 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2163631