The ‘real deal’ behind the Great Birth Control Debate

A woman’s right to choose…or a baby’s right to life… this dilemma has been a part of our political discourse longer than women have had the right to vote. In recent weeks there have been two major issues that brought this debate back into the main-stream media.

1) The Susan G Komen Foundation announces that it will no longer grant funding for Planned Parenthood. You may ask… huh? The Susan G Komen Foundation is a non-profit foundation that benefits from all those little pink goodies you pay double for, (i.e. a pink umbrella that costs $20 instead of $10) and then takes that funding and turns around and funds various grants to other agencies, non-profits, etc. With regards to Planned Parenthood, instead of actually doing breast cancer screenings they were just serving as a referral site, referring their ‘clients’ to other locations where they could obtain a breast cancer screening.

Criticisms were rightly made that the Komen Foundation should instead fund only those agencies, organizations, etc. that actually helped to perform their mission of screening for, and treatment of, breast cancer. As such, all funding for ‘referral only’ agencies was cut off. The only such agency we heard about in the news was Planned Parenthood. At the end of the day, the public outcry led to the single biggest fundraising day for BOTH non-profits, the Komen Foundation fired their VP in charge of making that decision and promptly reinstated the funding for Planned Parenthood. (Incidentally, Planned Parenthood admitted it didn’t need the funding…)

2) The Obamacare mandate re: forcing all employers to provide various birth control options, free of charge, to all employees — including faith-based employers. While pro-choice activists fought to make this an all-out assault on a woman’s right to access to birth control, the faith-based community has framed the argument in terms of religious liberty and the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion.

While I believe that all women should have access to birth-control, I absolutely agree that people who are fundamentally opposed to birth control, on religious grounds, should not be forced to fund free birth control for all. This is an issue of religious freedom and faith-based groups should have the right to opt out of anything that goes against the most basic tenets of their religion. Many Catholic non-profits, for example, are opposed to any funding for birth control, abortion, sterilization procedures, etc. and forcing them to pay for these procedures goes against the very principles on which this nation was founded.

We are a nation of liberty and freedom, but forcing Americans to pay for services which they feel, rightly or wrongly, are tantamount to murder is something that we can not and should not allow to happen in this country.


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