I have a simple question. Why is birth control such a controversial topic? I understand the various reasons some people are against abortion, and, while I fully support a woman’s right to choose, right of control over her own body, it took me some years to come to that conclusion. I readily admit that. But what I am talking about here is birth control. We are not talking about a fetus, a fertilized egg, or anything for which there can be any debate about “when life begins”. We are talking about preventing pregnancy, not terminating it.
A look at some cold hard facts surrounding children born to parents who were not ready to be parents:
- On any given day, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the United States.
- In 2014, over 650,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care. On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years and seven percent of children in foster care have languished there for five or more years.
- There are 423,773 children in the U.S. foster care system; 114,556 of these children are available for adoption.
- Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse.
- Children under the age of one were most vulnerable and accounted for 40.9% of all fatalities;
- 5% of maltreatment-related fatality victims were age six and under.
- 6% of child fatalities resulted from neglect alone, 26.3% from physical abuse alone, and 21.9% from both neglect and physical abuse.
- Most child fatalities (82.8%) were the result of maltreatment by one or both parents
- Mothers acting alone were the perpetrators in 32.4% of child abuse- and neglect-related fatalities.
- 9 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the United States.
- Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
- About 80% of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
- 14% of all men and 36% of all women in prison were abused as children.
- Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
So tell me again why some find birth control “immoral” or objectionable?
In the beginning, ACA, (Obamacare) included a provision that employers must provide to their employees heathcare insurance that would include birth control. Religious employers such as Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A objected, saying they should not be forced to pay for birth control when they object on religious/moral grounds. So, in 2014, the case of Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. came before the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn the birth control clause under ACA. In layman’s terms, the Supreme Court said, “Okay, sure. Then we will give you a simple form to fill out, saying that you are objecting on religious grounds, and then the insurance company and/or the U.S. government will bear the burden of providing birth control coverage to those women employed by you.” But noooooooo …. filling out a form is asking too much! And now along comes Zubik!
The case of Zubik v Burwell requests “full exemptions”, meaning that religious organizations who decide that they object to covering the costs of birth control on moral/religious grounds, should not be required to even do so much as fill out a simple form. The reality is not that the form is too cumbersome … it is a single-page form! The reality is that these companies are determined to do everything in their power to prevent their employees from obtaining birth control coverage.
Which brings me back to my original question: WHY? Do they really prefer the idea of children being abused, even killed, rather than a woman taking a daily pill? Do they really prefer thinking about all the children who suffer abuse and/or neglect because they have no responsible parent to protect them? Or is it just easier to not think about it at all? The very same people who are against birth control are willing to turn a blind eye to the 36,000 plus humans in the U.S. who are murdered … yes, murdered … by guns every year! This is a world where teenagers experiment with sex, get pregnant, have babies … babies that they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, prepared to take care of. This is a world where middle-income working couples plan to reach certain financial goals before settling in to start a family, but with that choice taken away from them, they have a child and leave him/her to strangers to raise while they continue to pursue their financial goals.
Readily available and affordable birth control is not a panacea to conquering teen pregnancies, child abuse, or child neglect, but it is a start. Those who are so offended by abortion should welcome making birth control available to all. Without access to birth control, there will be more abortions, there will be more teen pregnancies, and there will be higher numbers of abused and neglected children. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. I cannot comprehend how anybody in light of the statistics above, finds birth control objectionable. Even so, the government asks only that an organization finding it objectionable on religious grounds fill out a form – a single-page form. Is that really so hard? Think about it.