This summer, it came to the media’s attention that some students coming from South Africa who have earned government scholarships to go outside of the country to go to school were essentially forced to be injected with a long-term birth control device.
While this story was all over the news in the region, some people declared the story to be pure sensationalism, full of lies. Others justified the idea by pointing out that the tax-payer is giving them money to go to school and the tax-payer deserves a return on their investment. Still others mentioned that the scholarships are only for a specific period of time and taking time off to have a child would royally mess up the system.
Nonetheless, just this week this story came up again, as more students left to go to school in Cuba and the government had to specifically say that “the health department had not prescribed contraceptives for those who were awarded bursaries.” (“Bursary” is basically the British word for “scholarship.”) The students were warned not to get pregnant.
I’m not a fan of slippery-slope arguments. Sometimes they are true, usually they are not. Instead of launching into some sort of slippery slope argument, I want to go straight to the source. Why is artificial birth control okay and how does that opinion lead to the potential of abuse?
We recognize that having children is expensive. We observe that women will drop out of school or the workforce to have children. Society (and the women themselves) want women to stay in school or the workforce. To change school and the workforce to be more mother-friendly would take a lot more effort than just taking a pill or injecting a drug or device.
So women have and take the option of taking artificial birth control. Now, what about people who are invested in these women? No man or woman is an island. We all exist dependent upon everyone else. Shouldn’t those who have an invested interest in the women have a say in a woman’s use of birth control? Our answer to that question can lead to the abuse of an already unnatural and morally problematic situation.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own – 1 Corinthians 6:19
Why do we have to disrespect a woman’s body by controlling the amazing ability to bring forth new life? Why do we have to disrespect the sexual act by sterilizing it? Why does a pregnant woman have to drop out of school or quit her job?
Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court heard a case of a pregnant woman who was discriminated against when she requested to go on light duty. I look forward to hearing the results of this case. Pregnancy discrimination is a vile injustice that does nothing but further encourage abortions and put women in poverty.
Just as a pregnant woman shouldn’t be forced to choose between her child and an education and career, a fertile woman shouldn’t be forced to chemically sterilize herself in order to pursue an education or career. I think that most people, regardless of their views on abortion or birth control, would agree with that.