Portrait By Kiva Bay

Dax Murray

Book reviews, coding thoughts, feminist rants, and occasional cats.

Birth Control: The New Abortion


I spent Wednesday afternoons being quickly rushed from the public school I attended to the Catholic school down the street, where I would spend another two hours sitting in a desk in a class room. I learned the rosary, the Apostle's Creed, the stations of the Cross, and then my Aunt, who worked at the school full time, would take me back to my parents house (usually with a detour for a snack, much to my delight.)While my parents, being working class (like many Catholic's are), could not afford to send me and my siblings to Catholic school full time, they did shell out money to OLC for me to receive Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD, like Sunday school, but on Wednesday). I looked forward to my First Holy Communion in which I would get to wear a beautiful white dress, have my hair done, and afterward, have a party in which I was given beautiful rosaries, ornate Bibles, and a statue of the Virgin Mary.

The Catholic Church didn't seem like a monster, then. I entertained the idea of becoming a nun, as all the Sisters seemed super cool, and, besides, who wanted to get married, anyway? And the Cool Hip Young Aunt worked for OLC, so how could the Church not be cool?

It wasn't until I became aware of where babies really come from that I started to have doubts. My mother and father had met and wed within a year. Everyone thought it was because mom was pregnant. She wasn't, and she wouldn't be for another six years. After the first year, according to my mother, grandma (dad's mom) began offering to pay for fertility treatments, thinking that my mom was having trouble conceiving. She wasn't. She was on The Pill.

My mother converted to Catholicism, and never had an aversion to birth control, nor did my father, despite being raised Catholic. My parents, like many other Catholics, used a form a birth control banned by the Vatican.

Being raised Catholic, I have certain biases. For instance, I really don't like a lot of Protestant faiths, since it was from Protestantism that the seeds of Capitalism were spread. While Catholicism emphasizes (at the local level, not at the Vatican) community work, and sees charity and helping the poor as noble, many Protestants emphasis that if you are poor and suffering, it is because you are not close to God, and the richer you are, the closer to God you must be (which is why management are often Protestant, and labor often Catholic). But that is another blog.

Back to my biases, I know that the Catholic Church lobbies, but I more often then not see them lobbying for the poor, and not against. I saw them lobbying for health care reform, as it is often the Catholic Hospitals that see the poor and under/uninsured.

I know, I know, they also lobby against abortion. But I have never seen them lobby so vehemently against birth control. I was taught the rhythm method, and I know that NFP is all the rage, and if that is your cup of tea, go for it.

But suddenly, it seems, the Catholic Church isn't just opposed to people of it's own flock using birth control, it now seems they are opposed to anyone, no matter their faith, using birth control.

For a long time, Protestants were okay with birth control. They didn't care if you were using the pill, condoms, just as long as you were doing it in wedlock, and at least managed to produce one child.

Now, birth control is the new abortion. It went from being a thing some fringe people opposed, mostly people who just hated that women weren't at home making dinner for them anymore, and is now something that the Republican nominees are all declaring their hatred for, and making campaign promises to outlaw it should they become President.

It has gone from something the priests told their congregation not to do, to something that is now being debated on cable news channels.

Is birth control wrong? Should women get a say in if they become pregnant? Should women be allowed to determine how many times they become pregnant? Should women get a say in their own lives, in how their own bodies are used?

That is the conversation now! Birth control is now just as controversial as abortion. While the Church views birth control as wrong because, according to the Vatican, it places a barrier between God, and God's will (that women be pregnant all the time), many are now saying it is the same thing as abortion, and creating all this pseudo-science around how the pill operates (stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucous to prevent sperm from getting into the fallopian tubes) to say that the pill causes a "mini-abortion."

While I used to think that birth control was something that was common ground, I am now encountering more an more people who are anti-abortion, also being anti-contraception.

I am not having it. Birth control prevents pregnancy at a time when a woman does not want to be pregnant. Therefore, it prevents the need for abortion. If Santorum, or any other anti-birth control candidate gets elected, and bans birth control, I am keeping my IUD in. Government does not know I have it. And the nurse that inserted it is bound by HIPAA. They will have to shackle me and forcibly remove it if they want me to no longer have it.