Français : Différents types de pilule contrace...

Français : Différents types de pilule contraceptive English: Different kinds of birth control pills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

According to a recently widely publicized study, the vast majority of women use some type of artificial birth control.  For most women that birth control is hormonally based birth control.  Yet despite its wide-spread use Republican governors and representatives have been pushing legislation across this country that would make the most commonly used forms of birth control illegal or more difficult to obtain.

This is my plea to Republican women.  We may not agree on fiscal policy or the size of government.  We may not agree on states rights versus the role of the federal government.  We may not agree on unions or labor rights in this country.  We may not agree on the role of religious organizations in government. We may not have the same thoughts on foreign policy. We may not agree on gun control or funding for education.  We may not have the same views on the environment or sustainable energy.  We may not agree on how health care should be paid for and who should get it.  We may not agree on entitlement programs or how we should pay down the national deficit and debt.  We may have different feelings about corporate person-hood or regulation of the banking industry.  We may not agree on the our current tax system.  We may not share the same opinions on access to or the legality of abortion.

But nearly all of use birth control.  And we like using birth control because we think it is important to decide how many children we want to have, if any at all.  We like planning our families and spacing out our pregnancies.  We like being able to have a healthy sexual relationship with our spouses or partners and not risk getting pregnant every time we have sex.  We like being able to use birth control for therapeutic reasons such as heavy periods, Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.   We like to concentrate our families resources on the children we do have rather than spreading them out over so many.   We aren’t all religious extremists and most of us see nothing morally wrong with using birth control.  We don’t all look to someone like Michelle Duggar with her nineteen kids and a reality show and think she is living the dream.

So I implore you if you are a Republican woman and you want to keep birth control available for all women of child-bearing age including yourself, that you let your Republican representatives, senators and governors know you aren’t going to stand for this.  Women in the democratic party are also fighting back, but those politicians know we wouldn’t vote for them anyway.  As a republican you have more pull on this issue as those republican representatives really do need your vote.  We don’t have to agree on every issue, but we are all women and we are indeed all in this fight together.  No one can tell half of the adult population in a free society that they are going to limit our choices and get away with it.   The political system in a democracy does not exist without citizens standing up and screaming for what they believe in.  And we will not always agree, on a lot of topics, but we are all women.  And our right to access and use birth control is something so near and dear to our daily lives that no political party or political agenda should threaten.

7 comments on “On Birth Control: A Plea to Republican Women

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  2. cantenucci04

    I came across your blog just randomly, but I noticed this post and wanted to make a comment. I don’t know much about you or your views on anything, but from what I can tell you’re a liberal feminist. I don’t use that phrase in a derogatory way, it’s just what I assume you would describe yourself as. I’m a 26 year old guy who is passionately conservative and passionately Catholic. That doesn’t mean I rub my values in other people’s faces, I like to have open dialogues with people who don’t agree with me on issues. In fact, my best friend in college was an atheist, but we were both open minded enough to look past our differences.
    Normally I tend to stay away from hardcore feminists because from my experience there’s nothing you can say that will change their mind on the issues, cause if they bought into the liberal ideology already chances are it’s for a reason.
    But I respect women a great deal, and I agree with you from reading several of your posts (you at least imply this) that many men these days are immature and selfish. I would say much more of my generation is that way, both men and women, but the lack of parenting and loss of values in our culture affects men to a greater degree I believe and here’s why: part of it is evolution- men are programmed to spread their genes, and they can do this by impregnating as many women as possible. This is no excuse to act that way, just a tendency we have to overcome. Having a good father to show a young boy the example of how to treat women works wonders in this regard, I would know, I’ve never seen my father (he abandoned us when I was born), and for a long time didn’t respect my mom. But as I learned more about my faith and changed my life, I saw the inherent value each woman has and learned to treat every woman with respect. Unfortunately many kids grow up without fathers these days, and half of the marriages in this country now end in divorce. The statistics show that boys from single parent families have much higher rates of crime, abuse, sex at an early age, drugs, and dropping out of school than the boys from stable two parent families.
    Back to evolution. Women are designed to find the best man to have babies with so those babies will be the most likely to survive and have kids, thus allowing the species to survive. This means women are designed to actually not be permiscuous, but to find one man and make him stick around to protect the kids, thus ensuring their genetic line will survive. Women are also wired to nurture their kids, whereas we men aren’t, we have to work at that.
    My point is that men (imo) have more bad tendencies than women to overcome, but this is totally influenced by how they’re raised and what they experience growing up.
    The other aspect of why men are affected more than women by not having good influences is that they’re supposed to be the leaders of the family, but when all they see growing up is men doing whatever they want, they get the picture that it’s ok to be like that, which makes them become afraid of commitment because they think they’ll lose their “freedom” by settling down, when in reality their freedom was just an escape from reality they created to avoid the responsibility that comes with being in a committed relationship and eventually having a family. Women today are also sent these messages of no-fault freedom, but their inherent tendency to settle for the right man and to nurture kids is still deep inside, and acting irresponsibly and permiscuously goes against those tendencies. So today’s culture combined with lack of parenting feeds into the worst tendencies of men while going against women’s natural tendencies.
    As for your plea to conservative women to make sure all women have birth control I would say, just cause everyone is doing something, doesn’t make it right, or even the most effective thing to do. Now that’s a separate argument I won’t get into here, but I want to point out that nfp (natural family planning), if done right, has been shown in studies to be at least and often more effective than birth control pills, and without the nasty side effects. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221065200.htm
    I’ve studied this quite a bit since I went to naturopathic medical school for a year and learned about how so many artificial things wreck havoc on our health. Don’t take my word for it, check out some of these links, and there are many studies to back up the claims made in them: http://www.ditchthepill.org/ http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/news/hormones_depression.shtml
    The Catholic Church teaches it’s wrong to use artificial birth control because it turns sex into a selfish act that is no longer open to life, taking 1 of the 2 purposes of sex away (the 2 being unitive and procreative). But apart from the moral argument, there’s a very strong biological argument that can be made against the artificial birth control pills. They work by increasing the level of estrogen in a woman’s body, but many women today already have excess estrogen, causing them to have what is called estrogen dominance. This is having too much estrogen relative to progesterone, causing weight gain, mood swings, higher risk of cancer, and other problems.
    Sorry for the length of this “comment” lol, I tend to write a lot when I have a flow of thoughts, and just go with it. However, I took the time to write this because it just struck me that you seem to be a thoughtful woman and have some very good insights about human nature and the opposite sex in America today.
    I like your passion on this issue and your desire for people to stand up for what they believe and get involved in politics. I have that same desire, even though we disagree on the issues.
    My last point I would like to make is that conservatives (even the ones who believe birth control is wrong, which i’m pretty sure is a minority) don’t want to limit women’s access to birth control, we just want religious organizations who employ people to have the freedom of conscience to not cover birth control in their insurance because it violates their religious beliefs. This is a basic right under our Constitution that no government should take away, just like no government should make it illegal for women to purchase birth control, and if a governor ever did that, I would be against it. Most insurance plans nowadays cover birth control, I know because right now I’m working at cvs pharmacy, and usually the women with prescriptions for birth control have no co-pay.
    However, if you do believe that some organizations that don’t cover birth control for their employees limits women’s access to birth control, there’s a solution to that that isn’t part of Obamacare- it’s moving insurance from being employer-based to individual-based. That way people could purchase the best and most affordable insurance plans for them regardless of where they work.
    The fact that so many women today use birth control shows how affordable and accessible it’s become. Even politically, republican governors know a bill that would drastically reduce access to birth control just wouldn’t pass, or would make that unable to win a second term, so the few laws that have done it like in Kansas only allow doctors to be free not to prescribe it, but there will always be plenty of doctors who will, and if one doesn’t, women can just go to one who does.
    Anyway, that’s my opinion on the subject. I hope you don’t take it as if I’m imposing my morality on you, I just wanted to inform you of some of the facts involved in this issue. I hope you find the right guy and that he’s the man you deserve.

    1. julietjeske

      Dude this is a book, and completely wasted energy as no one reads the comment section. No one. If I were you, start your own blog. I was raised strict Catholic and I completely reject that faith now, 100% actually. I think the entire institution is a farce, a corrupt child molesting farce. And I had a pedophile priest in my parish and in the neighboring parish. The current pope was instrumental in the cover-up. I just can’t take them seriously as an institution as how can they take a moral high ground on anything when countless children were abused under their watch.

      That being said you are mixing science (evolution) with religion. So lets go. If you really want to say how we should get back to our “natural” way…then lets do that. We will get rid of technology. fossil fuels, vaccines and anti-biotic drugs because all four of those factors lead to the insane population growth this planet has witnessed in the past 100 years. Even just a couple of generations ago, a woman may have had seven or eight pregnancies only to see half of her children die before they reached adulthood. It is downright irresponsible to advocate for the removal of birth control when we are stretched so thin as a species. Things like fresh water, farmland and topsoil are finite. We cannot simply get more of them when we the population hits 9 billion, or 11 billion as it will if we continue on our current trajectory. Not to mention political forces that even today when we could easily feed the world we don’t and many children starve to death each day.

      And why don’t pro-lifers like yourself protest in front of fertility clinics? After all thousands of embryos are discarded each year as the result of IVF treatments. The Catholic church is formally against IVF, but I never see protestors calling women who use IVF murderers and baby killers. I can’t quite understand that particular bit of hypocrisy but it definitely exists. Aren’t those embryos poor helpless babies that will end up perishing in limbo, purgatory or hell depending on your particular beliefs? Why not save them?

      And where in the bible is abortion or birth control mentioned? In the Old Testament or New? Not once, yet rules on the Sabbath, what food to eat, how to treat your slaves, what clothing to wear and the proper way to kill an animal sacrifice are all included…but no abortion? No birth control? Both have existed since ancient times. A primitive version of the condom, diaphragm, sponge and even an IUD have all been discovered by archeologists. Abortion was also common and well documented, as was infanticide. Many malformed or weak babies were thrown off cliffs, brothels had great mass graves of mostly male babies. No one wants to return to a time where babies were thrown off cliffs, or mass abortions took place. One of the greatest things about birth control is that it prevents abortion.

      But putting all of that aside. You have no right to tell someone else of another faith or no faith how to live their lives. If a protestant mother wants to use birth control in order to only have three children instead of six, it is not your place to tell her what she can or cannot do. Nor is it the governments place to decide how many children a woman should have. The reason birth control is so popular, even with CATHOLIC and CONSERVATIVE women is that it has greatly improved people’s lives. Most adult men and women of all faiths like the ability to plan their families. Most married women and mothers use birth control, it is not just single promiscuous woman, far from it.

      Now get off of my blog and go write your own. You are certainly not going to change my mind, and putting book long rants on a blog is truly wasted energy especially since most of my audience are divorced people. So get to it, start writing. And if you comment again, I will delete the post. I don’t have time to go through this. The point of my original post was to Republican women, you are not a woman, so you are already off topic. 98% of American women use birth control, so this was meant for them…not you.

      If you want to get your ideas and opinions really out there, start your own blog. You will surely find an audience of like-minded people.

  3. Lutheran

    Julie–I think it would be great to explore the notion of withholding contraception/birth control from any woman who votes for a Republican, especially after today’s barrage of nonsense. Put your money where your mouth is. Vote your conscience…but be forced to live by it. Did Sarah Palin ever use contraception? How about our local favorite…Michele Bachmann? Let’s get down to it and force the conversation. Why shouldn’t every woman be able to access this service? Thanks for your work, BTW.

    1. julietjeske

      That would be funny, I would bet that since 99% of American women use birth control that both Bachmann and Palin have used it. I mean they both have large families but why don’t they have 10 kids or 15? I mean really, it is actually quite frightening what some people think is fair game nowadays. Birth control completely changed our lives for the better, women, men and children. Why anyone would want to go back to huge families, and increased maternal death due to excessive child birth is beyond me. And funny how they would probably still complain about some welfare mother with 12 or 15 children. Maybe they would usher in new child labor laws to help them “pull themselves up by their boot straps”

      1. Lutheran

        Women’s rights are under attack and children don’t have a voice in this political atmosphere. Personally, I am insulted that Bachmann even calls herself a Christian, along with the rest of her adoring Republican party. And Alan West from Florida. Don’t get me started. There’s nothing biblical about their behavior, let alone ethical. What would Jesus do?

        Somehow we have gone back 100 years to the Gilded Age where men reigned supreme…..and rich men were the kings. Women were chattel and children an inconvenient necessity. Just hoping that the pendulum has apexed and will start swinging back the other way. Tough to understand how women can support this madness. What are Republican women saying to defend their obvious self-sacrifice?

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