Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Donít mess with womenís rights

Virtually everyone in the country believes the Catholic Church has the right to call on its members to consider not using contraceptives. And Catholic women seem to believe they have the right to ignore the church's hierarchy.

Catholic women use contraception at the same rate as non-Catholics. Difficulties arise when, in the middle of a political campaign, the all-male church hierarchy and Republican candidates who have seen an opening take the position that they are the ones to decide which medical and moral decisions are right for women and their bodies.

A Founding Mother warned Founding Fathers that messing with the rights of women might not be such a good idea.

"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation," Abigail Adams said in 1776.

One can only imagine that numerous members of the government would have liked John Adams, the second president of the United States, to silence his wife.

Whether men in power like it or not, women of that era and of our own are not going to silently, passively, accept a place prescribed by the dictums of politicians or bishops without comment or without fury.

The state cannot force Catholics to use contraception, but neither can the Catholic or any other church require the state to bow to its demands.

American women should not be threatened with denial of the right to legally access available medications, including contraceptives, just because the purposes of those medications violate a religious doctrine.

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