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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Contraceptive debate lacks individual choice

    The debate over President Barack Obama’s newest health care plans is once again in the spotlight. Under the law, all church-run schools, charities and hospitals will be required to provide “preventive services” for free. This includes vaccines, routine screenings and mammograms, and, starting this year, birth control pills, IUDs and other contraceptives.

    Those who make the personal choice to have sex, whether they are a member of the church or not, should have contraceptives freely available to them. Allowing the members of these groups to be able to have safe sex without breaking the bank is a fabulous idea.

    The church, however, is outraged. It considers some contraceptives to be “abortion-inducing drugs,” and feels that requiring religious organizations to provide access to them violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom.

    Just because people are members of a particular sect of the Catholic Church doesn’t mean they always abide by the Catholic rules and wait until marriage to have sex.

    “Religious freedom is guaranteed to the individual, and 98 percent of American women use contraception at some time in their lives,” Judy Waxman of the National Women’s Law Center told the Los Angeles Times. “And that is true for Catholics as well.”

    Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan disagreed, saying that the church shouldn’t have “to act as if pregnancy is a disease to be prevented at all costs.”

    What an extreme reaction. People don’t think pregnancy is a disease; there is just a proper time in one’s life for it to happen. The church is being naive if it thinks that its members will only have sex if they can get contraceptives for free.

    People are able to make the personal choice to have sex. These people may be affiliated with the church, but the church should not make the assumption the members have completely devoted themselves to the Catholic faith’s rules.

    A couple of Catholic schools, including Belmont Abbey College and Colorado Christian University, have already filed suit. College officials say this law would force them to “violate their deeply held religious beliefs.”

    But not all Catholic students adhere to those beliefs.

    “In all honesty, I think some people would be happy to receive free contraceptives, even if they weren’t planning on using it,” said freshman Jade Nunes, a Catholic. “If they’re Catholic and want to wait till marriage, they won’t even need to take these contraceptives. It’s faith versus choice.”

    Just because these options are available does not mean anyone is advocating pre-marital sex. Those who truly want to stick to their Catholic beliefs should not be affected by these contraceptives; it will not alter their choice. Hopefully, this case will make it to the Supreme Court, so contraceptives will be available to everyone in the U.S.

    — Danielle Carpenter is a pre-journalism freshman. She can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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