By EOM Staff
Everyone is talking about religious freedom and the need for government to stop meddling in religious affairs, such as contraception. They are complaining that making religiously affiliated organizations, such as hospitals, provide birth control coverage is an infringement upon their religious beliefs and freedoms. They are forgetting that decades ago the government made polygamy illegal. Polygamy was a religious practice of the Mormon Church. It was determined by the government (and most people agreed), that allowing men to have multiple wives went against our culture and was detrimental to society. It was felt that women in plural marriages have a lower status than their shared husband. That the rich and powerful men could corner the supply of eligible young women, leaving a portion of other men unable to legally have intimate relations with a woman. This could create the circumstances for infidelity, rape and general crime born out of frustration and resentment.
Some religions believe in honor killings, but they are illegal here in America. Are we discriminating against those religions by making it illegal to kill your daughter over a perceived disgrace to the family? The social benefits of not allowing the murder of young women outweighs the right to religious freedom for those that believe in honor killings.
Every once in a great while, social policy that benefits a majority of citizens will take precedence over religious freedom. No one is suggesting that a woman who doesn’t believe in birth control should use it. Thousands and thousands of women work at religiously affiliated hospitals and schools across the country. Most of them believe in birth control and use it. 98% of Catholic women will at some point in their child-bearing years, use birth control.
The social benefit to making birth control readily available is enormous. There will be fewer unwanted and abused children. There will be fewer abortions because unwanted pregnancies can be avoided. There will be fewer children living in poverty. There will be a lower rate of domestic violence which is often brought on by poverty. More teen-age girls will graduate from high school and go on to college because they were able to avoid a teen pregnancy. There will be fewer children being supported by our tax dollars because women were able to control when and how often they have a child. Having birth control accessible to all women of child-bearing age is a win-win situation for all of us.
On a side note – religious organizations are starting to have a great amount of influence over our political system. If this continues, religions will be running this country. How do we choose which religioun should do so? And if religious organizations want to have influence over our government, they should start paying taxes to it.