Thursday, August 14, 2008

Contraception Illegal?

WOW! If the above items don't scare you, I guess you're a devout right-to-lifer or someone who does not believe in the freedom of choice.

As a woman who came of age in the seventies, I wholeheartedly believe in Roe vs Wade and the freedom of a woman to choose. When I was a teenager in the late sixties, abortion was illegal and contraceptives could only be secured with a parent's consent. As a consequence, most of my friends had illegal abortions. I was one of the lucky ones. I never became pregnant. When I did become pregnant with my third child, many years later, I was on a high risk drug and afraid to have the baby. I had to make the wrenching decision to abort the child and it was not easy to find a doctor who would perform the operation. This was the early nineties and many ob/gyns were already running scared from the right to life groups, the bombings of abortion clinics, what have you. Luckily, I miscarried and never had to make the emotional decision. I had carefully practiced birth control all my life and this was a total surprise; but it didn't make it any easier.

It's funny. When your beliefs are tested, you find out what you'll really do. I did not want to risk having a mentally disabled child. I just knew I wasn't cut out for that as a Mom. I still prayed to God to help me through the decision, however, and I truly admire(d) the courage it takes for women to reject something as fundamental as a pregnancy.

A recent article in the LA Times about Pope Paul's contribution to the schism in the Catholic Church referred to the rigidity of his beliefs against contraception. This article pointed out that many Catholics wanted the church's blessing to practice more than the old "rhythm method" and, when he didn't give it, the divisions began, resulting in people openly rejecting the teachings of the church; priests engaging in sexual molestation/misconduct and the falling away from the church as the center of the Catholic world. I don't know if this is true but I do believe if we, as a nation, sit silently by while more of our rights are decided by the state and federal government, we are one step closer to dictatorship and the loss of everything we hold dear, as Americans.

For more on these issues:

Letter to Secretary Mike Leavitt from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and 26 other senators, July 23, 2008

Redefining abortion; Federal officials considering a rule allowing health care workers to refuse to provide contraceptives," Houston Chronicle, August 10, 2008

If you oppose this draft regulation, go to: and sign the petition.

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by Cole Scott