Monday, April 02, 2012

The Ethics of Birth Control

Justice Should be Blind, Not Stupid
Erin Solaro over at the Seattle PI's Civic Feminism blog wrote a delightful post about the Politics of Contraception.  I left a comment there, thanking her for her fantastic post and also posing this question: 
Why are these people (those who want to take birth control away from woman) only concerned with the moment, the act of potential procreation and not the consequences resulting from that moment?
What worries me terribly is the simple fact that these men (and they are almost all men) working to deny women access to birth control never bother to look at the potential consequences of what happens when we deny women access to birth control (Yes women, men have historically been given clear access to birth control, but women denied).  All these politicians and pundits are concerned with is the act of potential procreation. This is the ethics of short-term egoism that refuses to look at long-term consequences of this action: Birth control denial.  This short-term ethic set is downright irresponsible of lawmakers, and certainly an example of why many citizens no longer trust of hold hope in their political representatives (consider this, recession is simply a result of short term rationale of fast profit that had devastating consequences for the US and globally as well). This is a huge problem not only with politics, but with our society today: short-term satisfaction and, ironic enough, birth control is not about short term satisfaction, no matter how much Rush Limbaugh and others like him wish to frame the issue with such misguided rhetoric: give a woman birth control and she will screw anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Here are some long-term consequential considerations we must consider before denying women birth control:
  • What happens to women that have been raped?
  • What happens to women who need birth control for general health reasons related to hormonal imbalances?
  • What happens to a market place devoid of cheap female labor (the more children a woman has, the more likely she will have to leave the market place)?
  • What happens to a home’s economics when it loses ½ of its income making members once she leaves the market places and becomes a homemaker. 
    • (I am not putting down the life of the homemaker. However, many homes need both adults working to survive. If we have no birth control, the average family could have up to 4-5 children, making it important for one parent to stay home to care for the children. If history has demonstrated anything, it will likely be the woman who stays home.  where will the money come in this world today to feed and care for a such a family well?)
  • What happens to all the unwanted children in this world? The “disposable” children abandoned, lost, and not cared for?
  • What happens to women’s rights generally and how society views women?
  • What happens when the death rate of women skyrocket as more births occur and as more women die during child birth?
  • What about over population in relation to famine and a frightfully shrinking natural resource pool in this earth?
These few consequential considerations are only the tip of the iceberg regarding potential problems and dramatic socialist structural changes as a result of such a drastic act as denying easy access to birth control. To make things more clear, let’s take a case study: Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries.  As I wrote in my comment on the PI:
Taken in an Irish Laundry: Location Unknown
In Ireland (and globally but Ireland becomes the case study par excellence), hundreds of thousands of women were placed in Laundries and forced to become nothing more than slave labor for the state and church of Ireland. Major targets? Single mothers and any woman deemed amoral as compared to her society's spiritual temperament. These women had no choice, as law regarding their bodies were clear: A woman's body was not their own.  Their body was their fathers, their brothers, their husband, the church or the state, but there was no true anonymity. And the children, ripped from these Magdalene Laundresses? Either they were shipped out of Ireland, adopted to foreign Catholic parents, or placed in workhouses; horrific state run institutions of abuse (Read the Commission to Inquire into child abuse).

Birth control plays a huge role in this travesty, because here was a society that denied birth control to women and, at the same time, did not consider any of the consequences of this so called moral action.   We are headed there if we do not stop this nonsense now.  Denying women birth control is wide raging consequences, consequences that must be addressed and seriously debated. Otherwise, we are simply caving to egoistic, short sighted, and misguided proclamations that will harm all of our society, not simply the women it’s trying to control.

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