Politics should abort contraception control


Lauren J. Mapp

Lauren J. Mapp, Editor-in-Chief

With the economy in shambles, wars being fought in the Middle East and a lack of food security for many throughout the international community, the issue that really matters right now is regulating and controlling who has access to contraception.

Fortunately, middle-aged, male politicians are taking this responsibility upon themselves, since they and their uteri know so much about women’s healthcare. All sarcasm aside, no piece of legislature should restrict a woman from having access to birth control, nor should she be shamed into being reluctant to use it.

Politicians need to step away from this partisan battlefield and make it their priority to ensure that woman can affordably obtain what they need to maintain proper health. Yes, this includes oral contraceptives and the option of abortion.

Contrary to popular, Republican belief, not all birth control users are promiscuous teenage girls. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 99 percent of sexually active women ages 15-44 polled in 2008 had used some form of contraception and 82 percent had used a birth control pill at some point in their life.

Besides their main purpose, oral contraceptives can be used for their beneficial side effects. Such benefits include the balancing of hormones, regulation of one’s menstrual cycle, reducing the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, minimizing acne and lowering the chance of fibroids.

Recently, several legislative measures have been passed that stigmatize women who actively use or hope to use oral birth control, or who choose abortions.

Arizona has passed a law that prohibits malpractice lawsuits against a doctor that omits information regarding possible birth defects or any issue that may cause detrimental health problems. As a result, women will not have the accurate information needed to choose whether or not to seek an abortion to avoid such problems. Withholding health information should be viewed as a crime, not as a means to justify a religious vendetta against abortion.

In July, women seeking abortions in Virginia will be required to submit to an ultrasound and wait for 24 hours before having an abortion administered. As ridiculous as this may seem, the invasion of privacy and restriction of freedom that this law allows has been orchestrated to shame women into committing to an unwanted pregnancy.

Texas has been so adamant against abortion that their decision to block federal funding from supporting Planned Parenthood has resulted in a loss of federal funding. Approximately 130,000 women in the poorer social strata of Texas will be affected by losing their access to free birth control.

What these legislators don’t realize is that making it easy to get hormonal contraception not only prevents unwanted births, but it also empowers women to take a proactive role in their sex lives. Instead of relying on a man to use condoms – especially in monogamous relationships – women can protect themselves and plan for families as they see fit.

Planning for a family should not be frowned upon. Between an already overburdened foster care system – funded by tax payers – and an abstinence-only approach, which has be “so affective” in foreign countries, providing women with birth control is actually the lesser evil.

Republican radio personality Rush Limbaugh, as an example, does not want his tax paying dollars to be used to support birth control programs. He feels so passionately about this that he felt compelled to cal one woman, Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, a “slut” and a “prostitute” for supporting state-funded contraception where private insurance options are not available.

This demonization of women by condemning a woman’s personal lifestyle choice is a sexist and antiquated approach to dealing with a major social issue. Limbaugh refers to women having non-procreational sex as sluts, but if every so-called slut used birth control, then we would not have a system crumbling under the weight of unwanted children.

Benefits to the community as a whole from using the preventative use of birth control or the retroactive decision to undergo an abortion should not be looked upon in a negative light. Instead, those who wish to have children when they are in a financially-stable position or in good health conditions should be applauded.

Too many children are unjustly brought into this world as is, and the likelihood of using abstinence as an effective means of birth control in a post-Sexual Revolution society will only lead to further increases in rapid population growth.