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The debate over birth control appears again

The debate over birth control appears again

In an editorial appearing on FaithStreet, Rachel Marie Stone sets the current flare up over birth control in the context of the last year and a half she spent in Malawi.

She admits that because she grew up in an evangelical context, she can sympathize with those who would look on certain types of birth control as immoral, but she points out that for us with wealth and resources at our disposal, that’s an easy choice to make. Not so for everyone in the world.

But I get stuck when that conviction is taken from the personal realm — “I choose not to do this myself” — into the realm of policy — “I will take measures to make obtaining this method more difficult.” Here is why:

It results in too many deaths — not quiet cellular deaths, but the loud deaths of grown women and the whimpering deaths of children.

It seems very clear to me that if we put most methods of reversible birth control besides condoms and diaphragms off the table, ethically speaking, we exchange the very hypothetical failure of a blastocyst to implant for the definite reality of visible, screaming, bloody deaths of women and children worldwide.

According to data at USAID, “family planning could prevent up to 30 percent of the more than 287,000 maternal deaths that occur every year, by enabling women to delay their first pregnancy and space later pregnancies at the safest intervals. If all babies were born three years apart, the lives of 1.6 million children under the age of five would be saved every year.”

That doesn’t include the lives saved due to death from malnutrition in areas where population growth far outstrips the food supply.

Read the whole article here.


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Argh, I meant “killing the LATTER arouses passion”. You just can’t preview enuff…

JC Fisher


@ Gregory and Richard: these type of anti-reproductive choice activists draw distinctions between “innocent human life” (blastocysts and embryos upon which one can project every fantasy of angelic infancy) and the REAL and messy lives of born (esp adult—females of childbearing age are close enough!) human beings.

Even, say, a Palestinian boy burned to death in the West Bank…just not AS innocent as a blastocyst (ergo, killing the former arouses passion, the former, not so much).

JC Fisher

Richard III

I often wonder how many on the religious right who object to birth control, sex education, abortion, etc. also object to war and the death penalty. One would think that if the sanctity of life is that important it shouldn’t just apply only to humans in utero.

Richard Warren

Gregory Orloff

Having grown up in an evangelical context (and thus, presumably, taking God’s commands “Thou shalt not kill” and “Love thy enemy” seriously), can Ms. Stone sympathize with those who feel uncomfortable with having to pay taxes toward increasing warfare and militarism? Or will the “Hobby Lobby” excuse Christians who take those pro-life commands of God’s seriously from paying a percentage of taxes that would go toward military expenditure and capital punishment?

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