Isn’t it always vocally, attention grabbing distributive positions that garner the spotlight? As a woman, a mother, and a very spiritual person, I would like to offer a discussion regarding the new contraceptive ruling that President Obama revealed yesterday.
I’m hoping other women will speak up. I feel that the importance of female contributions to family, spirituality, career and life have been left out of this equation, as politics and religion, in the face of an election year, are helping us to see this issue as more of a competitive power play structurally, over constitutional rights and governmental health care reform.
By including a representation of female discussion on this issue, I think a broader perspective can be considered and help to pave the way for resolving these conflicting positions.
The way I understand this issue, under President Obama’s health care reform, employers must offer insurance that includes contraceptives. According to news media briefs, the president states that this new policy for making contraception available for women, “saves lives and saves money.” In additional reasoning, he states that “no woman’s health should depend on who she is or where she works.”
On the other side of the coin, according to news reports regarding the Catholic Church’s reaction to this ruling, they feel that religious doctrine, in particular their own, has been usurped by the President’s decision. “Coercing religious ministries and citizens to pay directly for actions that, violate their teaching is an unprecedented incursion into freedom of conscience.”
Aside from the content of each of these opinions, if each of these parties remains fixed in their positions, what good is one party winning over another? Wouldn’t it be creating more conflict and separation due to the fight for power over something? Would a win be helping the situation? In my opinion, I don’t think so. Who is going to lose? Us, ladies, and we are a part of We, the People.
May I ask, would it be possible to see women in this issue as a common interest between potentially politically decided health care and religion? If politics and religion are for We, the People, then both factions should work towards helping humanity in the United States, resolve this issue by considering a closer focus to the basic human needs of women, emotionally and physically.
Hypothetically, if we were to put aside the institutional positions and focus on discovering common interests between parties, the possibility for broader perspectives can emerge as well as opportunities to engage conflict more productively.
For example, how do women benefit by contraceptives being made available through their insurance provider?
From a female perspective, I believe we benefit emotionally and physically. Women wouldn’t have to be faced with considering a choice to abort an unwanted baby irregardless of how she found herself in the situation of becoming pregnant, either by force or by choice. Do government and religious organizations understand the emotional trauma a woman has in this position? What if a woman was raped on a college campus? This contraception ruling would provide to her a measure of safety from unwanted pregnancy. What if she was raped by a man with aids or a sexually transmitted disease? Unfortunately, she may suffer physically and emotionally, but having contraception alternatives made available to her, she would have the comfort of knowing that she wouldn’t have to put a child through a life of sickness and death due to aids or another sexual health condition she contracted because she left herself vulnerable to physical harm or unwanted physical abuse.
Really, I think the crux is this. Whose conscience is at stake anyway? It is ours, women. Regardless of what law is put in place, either by government or by religious doctrine we may follow, I think this choice should be left ultimately up to us, our free will. If we were truly abiding by our religious doctrine, by our free will choice, then, we wouldn’t be procuring birth control pills to have sex. Right?
If we as humans are paying attention to our spirits, then God will help us with this decision. Our conscience will understand this and help us choose the right path. I believe it is this direction that religious ministries should be taking to help their female parishioners, rather than focusing on a specific doctrine that ultimately has the potential to cause conflict within the religious ministry and beyond.
I came upon one news media brief that offered a broader vision than power play for this issue. It is my interpretation that the “most senior Roman Catholic cleric in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke from a perspective of the basic human needs of peoples, particularly women, stating that he can “see why arguments for using contraception to tackle poverty in developing nations are attractive.”
This man discussed discovering “strategies for tackling poverty and vulnerability in women’s health.” To me, this is a neutral opening where conflict can be engaged for the choice to consider the human being at the forefront, rather than either power position of the entity.
From another viewpoint, governmental I suppose, is this contraceptive ruling for health care and its impingement on constitutional rights declarations, a future opportunity to applicably amend our constitution to benefit We the People, and our ever changing way of life in America?
If you happen upon this post and read it, thank you! 🙂 May God bless your day today!