Contraceptive Manipulation

Contraception is perhaps one of those things that just will never be fully accepted nor refuted. It is something that seems to always attract controversy no matter the arena in which it is introduced. In addition, abortion is even more inflammatory, creating teams that slander one another in the hopes of attracting the most supporters. The “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice” teams often create suggestive language implying the inferiority of the opposing team. Wendy Simonds in “From Contraception to Abortion: A Moral Continuum” summarized this in the statement “Anti-abortionists call themselves ‘pro-life,’ and refer to their enemies as ‘pro abortion,’ whereas those who support abortion rights counter with ‘pro-choice’ and refer to their opponents as ‘anti-choice,’ or more simply, as ‘antis’.” This type of suggestive language not only creates tension within society and awkwardness when discussing the subject matter, but it also places a particular pressure on women.

In a previous blog, I referred to the killings that took place at the Pensacola Abortion Clinic. John Bayard Britton was a 70 year-old doctor murdered in cold blood by “Pro-life” advocates.  The reason for his murder was the simple fact that he practiced abortion procedures. He was the replacement of the first victim, Dr. Dunn, and Britton practiced these procedures after witnessing the poverty and health problems that often lead to women needing abortions. Often times, the need for an abortion is not the direct result of the woman’s voluntary actions. Yet with there being murders of doctors practicing abortions and “Pro-Life” advocates derogatorily considering abortion right supporters “Pro-Abortion,” where is the choice in that?

A 1989 entry in the Emory Wheel introduced a new paradigm of this issue; religion. Sex is something that, these days, is hard to avoid. It is in the media, it is among our friends, and, as seen by this course, it is even in our schools. Therefore, as Lyle Anderson Caldwell put it, the “S” word is not something that we should be squeamish to say or discuss. Additionally, this article spoke about the religious obligations that forbade abortion and even offered medical financial assistance, yet should something have gone wrong, like a miscarriage, the woman was left alone in the aftermath of pro-life hypnotism.

As Caldwell put it, “there is no easy solution to the issue of abortion that is dividing our country.” This was true in 1989 and remains true today. The fact of the matter is, this is something that needs to be left to the mercy of perception and individual opinion. Killing in the name of life and religion in the name or persuasion are two roads that will exacerbate the current mayhem.  Not to say that either side is right or wrong because I will leave my pro-choice opinion out of it, yet it is not and never will be fair to force somebody else to do something in the name of your personal beliefs.

Note Oct 25, 2012


2 thoughts on “Contraceptive Manipulation

  1. I do not think that the controversy over arguably one of the most hot-button social issues in our society will end any time soon. Those who are anti-abortion feel so with such vigor and as you said, generally feel so for religious reasons, views are likely to be changed. The same goes for those who are pro-choice; if you feel now that women should be able to chose if they want a child, that opinion is likely to go unchanged. I am shocked, though, that the majority of Americans currently are pro-life (50%) compared to pro-choice (41%). I feel that there has been a general acceptance of abortion in our society but I am obviously very misinformed….

  2. JSmit: Nice use of archival materials in your post. I wonder if you have thought at all about the dichotomous structure of the debate on abortion. One must be either pro-life or pro-choice. Is there any middle ground? Can you be pro-life in some situations and pro-choice in others? Can you be pro-choice for other folks but practice a pro-life stance (i.e choose to never have an abortion? Finally, how does one who identifies as “pro-life” justify taking the life of a doctor who performs abortions? How can one justify killing in the name of not killing babies? Did you find any explanations for that in your research?

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