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3/03/2012

Contraceptives, Conscience, and Conversation

"Get the Government Out of the Bedroom!", "Get Out of My Uterus!" - those were the signs in the 1960's and 1970's as women, gays, and others argued that what went on in the bedroom and, and in women's bodies, was nobodies business but the people involved.  These people were defined as 'consenting adults.'

Yet, today the dialogue is a call for government to step into the bedroom, the uterus, and sexual relations in general to safeguard 'women's health.'    First Amendment rights of freedom of religion are to be trumped by a woman's 'rights' to contraception.  And, as White House representatives said, 'free contraceptives.'

A young women, stepping into the role of speaking for all women using contraceptives, and calling for their free access via insurance coverage regardless of the First Amendment issues, now finds herself bearing the brunt of dialog.  One side rears up and says no derogatory remarks should be made to or about the young lady. She should not be caricatured as representative of those who wish to have sex and have someone else pay for it.  She should not be called names  or figure in comparisons to others who wish to have sex and have someone pay for it.  Yet, in these same groups conservatives and others are often called 'bastards', 'idiots', 'subintellects', etc.

The real issue here is the conflict between the right of groups to follow their conscience in the services they pay for their employees. If the employer, say a church or religious group, does not believe in sex before marriage, should they be forced to provide contraception - or elective abortions - to an unmarried woman?  If the employer, does not believe in contraception, should they be forced to provide it for non-medical reasons? Non-medical would include the regulation of hormones and other similar applications.

If I am unmarried and intend to have an active sex life - why work for a group which has opposing moral view points?  If I am married but wish to use contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy, should I work for a group which does not hold that as a valid lifestyle choice?  Where are the personal ethics in such conflicts of moral viewpoints?

The veneer of civilization we don each day is but that, a shallow covering susceptible to the struggling animal nature lurking beneath the surface.  Humanity on its own always rises to its own lowest common denominator. This is the message of religion - the need for transformation and an elevation of morals, behaviors, and motivations.  Morality can never be legislated successfully - look at prohibition.   Equally, a lack of morality should not be forced on those who hold different beliefs as protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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