Saturday, October 8, 2011

What Would Happen if the GOP Banned Contraception?

What, you don´t think it could happen? Look around you. They are dismantling Planned Parenthood, cutting funding for family planning, trying to make it lawful for pharmacies to refuse to distribute emergency contraception. Rick Santorum was filmed saying he would defund contaception and that contraception is "dangerous."

The GOP holds contraception in contempt.

What would happen if it were banned althogether? Let´s take a look back in time to communist Romania under the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu. In 1966, he outlawed abortion and all contraception. In 1967 the birth rate doubled. And then women started seeking out illegal abortions. As the birth rate fell from the initial boom, the maternal mortality rate tripled. For over two decades, contraception and abortion were illegal in Romania. The result was not a larger population, as Ceauşescu had intended. The result was more abortion, higher maternal mortality, more unwanted children who filled up orphanages of international infamy.

In 1989, the year Ceauşescu was overthrown, 400,000 women were hospitalized from complications from abortion. Hundreds died. Even after 1989, when the laws were reversed and abortion and contraception were legal again, as there was still limited access to contraception and to information, Romania continued to have a high abortion rate and low awareness about alternative methods of contraception.

Banning contraception and sex education should not be on the Pro-Life platform. If the intention really is to prevent abortion, the best thing Pro-Life activists could do is to make sure every woman knows she has the power to control her own fertility and to prevent unwanted pregnancies. But this is not what is happening. Pro-Life activists are the ones supporting politicians today who are proposing legislation that would defund access to contraception.

The irony is that they call Obama a communist. They say they want the Government to stay out of our lives. And yet, what is more invasive than a government that attempts to control your fertility? Communist Romania already lived through that misery. Why would we want the same in America?

There are two very good films that address this time in Romanian history.

Children Underground is a documentary that follows the lives of several children who had left orphanages in Bucharest and were living in the subway in the early 1990´s.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a drama about a young woman seeking an illegal abortion in Bucharest in the 1980´s.

A Handmaid´s Tale, a novel by Margaret Atwood, predicted what a conservative, fertility-obsessed North American dystopia might look like way back in 1985.


NYT: Romania Seeks to Reduce Abortions
Ceauşescu´s Longest Lasting Legacy
The Nation: Ban Birth Control? They Wouldn´t Dare

Related Posts:

Posts on Pregnancy
Posts on Preconception Health

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