is Contraception controversial?

Posted on April 23, 2011


Contraception Isn’t Controversial. Let’s Stop Saying It Is | RH Reality Check. I don’t think it’s quite fair to simply say that contraception isn’t controversial because we don’t think it is:

Last week, for example, my own Congressman, Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) talked about “agreeing to disagree about these controversial issues” in a face-off with Congressman Mike Pence on ABC News.  He was referring to the services–contraceptive delivery, cancer screenings, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections–that would have been defunded had the Administration bowed to the demands of the GOP on the rider to decimate Planned Parenthood….

But the fact is that none of this is controversial to the broader American public because the majority of people in this country use contraception at some point in their lives….

“The debate over contraception has long been settled in real-life America,” write Rachel K. Jones and Joerg Dreweke of the Guttmacher Institute.  “At some point in her life, virtually every woman in the United States uses at least one contraceptive method. Likewise, contraceptive services are recognized by government bodies, professional health care organizations and a wide range of other experts as a vital component of preventive and public health care.”

New data out todayin fact show that the vast majority of women, irrespective of religious affiliation, use modern contraception.

But the fact of the matter is that the facts just do not matter.  Not to those people who are interested in constraining women to what they believe is their “natural” role.  It is deeply rooted in religious beliefs and misogyny and the fear and anxiety caused when men have to treat women as equals and aren’t allowed to tell them what to do or what their role is.  It’s why women still make less money and why domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women.  Our society does not put the interests of women (even when it comes to health and safety) as a priority. So it’s easy for the small group of powerful (mostly) men (who are also mostly white and rich) to repeat over and over and very loudly that contraception is controversial, because to them it is controversial to have women in control over their own lives, let alone to be given circumstances where they could affect change.  Once again this is government not reflecting the people it is supposed to represent. Women make up a good portion of our country, yet a much smaller percentage make up our representatives or hold influential positions in society.  Are we really going to trust men, who are never asked to look at the world from women’s perspectives or understand (or take seriously) our realities, to protect our interests?