By the Editorial Board
The health and safety of women everywhere is under attack, but no one is particularly surprised by that. Women have been attacked for various reasons since Eve was blamed by God for eating that apple and Adam probably thought to himself, “Wow, women should not be allowed to make decisions independently.” That’s probably why 83 percent of the voting body of the United States government are men. Honestly, that 17 percent is so risky that Democrats and Republicans alike pray everyday that the women who hold a vote will get pregnant so they can be relieved of their duties as lawmakers. Unfortunately, maternity leave is so short that their votes won’t be gone for long.
A hot button topic that has been up for debate in the government for as long as can be remembered by young college students is the debate about mandating birth control in insurance packages. Lawmakers have been questioning the moral reasoning behind making employers provide employees with birth control, or more specifically, female birth control (i.e. contraceptive pills, IUDs, implants, etc.). Those who argue against it argue that it’s a breach in religious freedom to make employers provide it because some people and organizations feel that birth control is ethically wrong because of their religious beliefs.
In their 1997 address, the Pontifical Council for the Family under the Roman Catholic Church stated that, “Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity; it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life…it harms true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life.”
Because of these reasons, earlier this month, Donald Trump rolled out a plan to strip away the ACA’s birth control mandate and make it easier for employers to deny their workers paid birth control. The administration has stated that it is unsure if birth control really helps decrease unplanned pregnancies, and it is worried that it promotes women to engage in “riskier” sexual behaviors.
Furthermore, Trump stated months ago during a speech at the Rose Garden that “we will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore.” He is certainly trying his best to make good on that promise.
However, some individuals have started to assert that when Trump and his fellow conservatives claim that they are using “religious freedom” as a means to banning birth control or passing other laws, they are doing it so as a means of manipulating the religious right. Even more, some people claim that the religious right knows that Trump is not morally aligned with their beliefs, but because he pushes for their laws to be passed, they overlook his moral standing.
An article from USA Today from August states, “More than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, the largest proportion of all religious groups polled. These voters often say that though they do not always approve of Trump’s personal behavior, they admire his leadership skills and business acumen….”
Why, then, do Trump and his administration want lift the birth control mandate if not for religious reasons? Simple: they hate women and do not believe that they are deserving of basic human rights and safety.
Of course, this a bold claim to make. Hating a whole group of people is a pretty huge task, but incidentally, not so huge for Trump, who seems to hate several full groups of individuals. This theory is backed up by countless incidents where Trump and his crew have degraded women revealed their true sexist selves. This dates all the way back to 2011 when he called a female journalist a “dog” because of an article she wrote about him, to most recently when he commented on the “good shape” of the French First Lady instead of her numerous political accomplishments. In between those times, and dating as far back as Trump has been around (a long time), he has made countless other comments showing how he feels about women. That is, that he sees women as pieces of meat that are not worthy of full rights, including the right to birth control.
If you or someone you know is worried about their birth control being taken away, there is still time before the bill proposed get seriously considered. Before Dec. 5, you can send comments to the government about why you do or do not want the bill passed. The Women’s Equality Center launched a website that allows people who use birth control to send their bill with comments to government for consideration. While the letters alone will do nothing, taken as a whole, they might help sway lawmakers to understand how important free birth control is. The website can be found at www.keepbcfree.com
So, next time Trump and his posse claim “religious freedom” for their reason for doing things, keep in mind that religion has nothing to do with it. They are just another boy’s club set out to hurt the women around them while hiding behind a set of ideals that they don’t even follow. Their mission is not one of love, as most religions preach, but one of hate and violence. Don’t be swayed into thinking otherwise.