“Reproductive Freedom” Should Include Knowledge and Informed Consent
Contraception and abortion advocates often proclaim we must“trust women to know what’s best for them and their bodies.” That proclamation would be easy to get behind if:
1) abortion (and some forms of contraception) didn’t involve the killing of another individual;
2) we were given full knowledge and understanding about contraception, sex, abortion, and their related relational, emotional, physical, and spiritual impacts.
Women can and should be trusted with the truth about their bodies, the nature of sex, the side effects on contraception, and the devastation of abortion. This week’s What’s Speaking To Us focuses on a number of these issues.
Preparing Women For The College Hook-Up and Campus Assault Problems
Issues of campus sexual assault have many young women and their parents understandably nervous about the college experience. Some reports claim 1 in 4 women will experience sexual assault on campus; others say those numbers are inflated and false. Whether the numbers are accurate or not, it’s a good thing to be aware of the vulnerability women are subjected to in the casual sex scene on campus. To be clear, rape is never a victim’s fault, just like murder is never a victim’s fault. But there are things women can do that can help protect herself against the possibility of sexual assault.
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Braceras offers some tips to young women new on college campuses.Her column speaks frankly to women about the adult landscape they’ve now entered, encouraging them to know their preferences and make choices that support their personal safety. “Reject the hookup culture,” she writes. “Sex without trust and commitment often ends poorly. It may sound old-fashioned, but it’s really common sense: If you don’t know someone well, and you are unsure whether you can trust him, is it really a smart idea to be alone with him in a state of partial undress?”
The “Sacredness” of Birth Control
We’ve known for quite some time that birth control is getting to water supplies and feminizing fish. While we’ve hoped that such changes to the environment would bring some sort of reform to hormonal contraception, it appears to many the losses in the environment don’t outweigh the “sacredness” of contraception. You read that right, “sacredness.”
James Murphy, a recognized expert on water law and policy confirmed in an interview with Natural Womanhood that there aren’t EPA limits on pharmaceuticals because it’s the estrogen in birth control that is the biggest culprit in the problem. “Anti-depressants, etc., are ‘out there’ and environmental activists would like to address this problem;” Murphy explained, “however, the birth control pill is, quite simply, sacred and off limits.” Apparently the sacredness of even the environment only goes so far.
When Birth Control Hurts Romance
There is enough pressure already in the dating culture. But it’s important we let women (and men) know that birth control may be changing attraction preferences for women. One study found that “after being on the Pill, the women shifted their preference towards men with similar MHC genes to themselves.” Another study asked women to kiss a man while blindfolded and then look at pictures of men, including the man they kissed, to rate on attractiveness and desire to kiss said me. “The women who were not on the Pill usually rated the attractive kisser as also having an attractive photo. Women on the Pill did not seem to have any correlation between their selections.”
The study explains: “Kissing is ideal for accessing olfactory cues as it places the nose in close proximity to areas of the body containing large and numerous sebaceous glands.” Said another way, our bodies are naturally wired to signal attraction to another person, but when we alter the chemical makeup of our bodies, we risk altering this important process.
Who a woman decides to marry is one of the biggest decisions of her life. She deserves to know how her birth control regime could be impacting that decision, so she can make the most informed decision for herself.
A Choice That Can’t Be Undone
In a compelling first person narrative, one young woman explains how her decision to have sex, which led to a pregnancy and ultimate abortion haunts her to this day. Her story shows how instincts in one moment can “feel” right, only to be so wrong down the road.
“I didn’t want to have sex the night that it happened, but two heavy hits from a gravity bong at his best friend’s apartment and the sound of John Coltrane’s “Love Supreme” on the drive back to his place made me feel sexy and cool,” she writes. “We got back to his apartment and fell into his bed like two teenagers after prom.”
About the abortion she explains:
“I’ve done a lot of “bad” things in my life. I’ve made choices that will forever haunt me no matter how much money I shell out for a shrink. But the choice that I made on that day, the choice to sign my name on a piece of paper that would give my consent to terminating a pregnancy is chief among the ones I regret most.”
Her words speak for themselves about the importance of equipping and empowering women to think further down the road in the choices they make in love and romance, especially to be fully aware of the heartache involved in non-committed sex and abortion.
WSFT is trying to create a world that is intellectually honest about women’s freedom, about the good of keeping sex, marriage, and children together, and about how our sexualized culture has immiserated women and their families. Because our goals are so lofty and countercultural, we read the news with a careful eye for signs of hope, and to find the places where our voices are needed. Our weekly update—What’s Speaking To Us—will give you a view into what we’re reading, what we’re thinking, and how we’re speaking for ourselves in the media or in our communities.
If you would like to receive our weekly update, you can sign up here.
Women, empowered with facts, can change the culture!