Editorial: Controlling the contraception debate
Last Thursday night proved a rousing evening in TV land. No, it wasn’t the premiere of a new reality dating show or an expose of regular people doing even more regular things. The Republican Party held a GOP debate in Arizona on Feb. 23, and it might have been the most entertaining television event of the week.
The Journal isn’t quite sure where to begin in summarizing the night’s talking points, but we’ll choose one topic to expound upon. It seems fitting that The Journal dedicate this editorial space to contraception, since the GOP candidates have made it a main focus in media coverage of their campaigns.
Yes, these wealthy and educated Caucasian males are very concerned with women’s reproductive health rights. The main issue of course is health care, and whether insurance companies should be required to provide contraception such as the birth control pill, patch or ring to women. They argue that to do so encourages promiscuity and supports pro-choice agendas.
These candidates can argue that this is a financial concern, and that the end goal is to protect young girls who are uneducated about sexual health. While there are certainly risks associated with young teens becoming sexually active earlier in their lives, banning access to contraception could only make the problem worse. The increasing trend of teen pregnancy is bound to rise even higher.
But The Journal believes this family-planning issue exposes a huge problem in America’s political system. If there were more women representatives in U.S. politics, the contraception problem would be a non-issue. GOP candidates such as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich believe they are taking a stand for families everywhere. What they are really doing is taking a stand against women’s rights.
The Journal is embarrassed that an issue like this has taken the stage, decades after using birth control ceased to be taboo. We find it ridiculous that male politicians feel the need to control what women do with their own bodies. And we are discouraged that the media has given so much time to this obvious cry for attention and fringe voters.
Webster University is an institution with a history of supporting the rights of all, regardless of sex, race or religion. The Journal advises Republican candidates to consider those you are ostracizing and degrading as you rally for votes by trying to take away women’s freedom and choice.