On this anniversary of , let us not forget what a luxury it is to have the freedom to disregard the church's teaching and to have the resources to access contraception.Even though, for many of us, this doctrine does not impact our daily lives, for so many of our sisters and brothers, the need to dismantle it is an urgent matter of life or death. For decades, the Holy See, which has permanent observer status at the United Nations, has used its influence at the U. to object to declarations, charters and sustainable goals that make reference to sexual and reproductive health and contraception. In the Philippines, the bishops spent 15 years in the courts blocking the passage and implementation of a reproductive health care bill, even though 72 percent of Filipinos believe the government should provide free supply or service to the poor who wish to use any family planning method.
This suggests women are so feeble of mind that they can be easily seduced by men or conned by culture.
Either way, women are not trusted to make decisions about their own bodies, and the thought of women willingly engaging in sexual activity in an equitable partnership remains the great unmentionable.
One cannot help but wonder to what extent this obsession relates back to the hierarchy's own training for the priesthood.
When most of these men were in formation, few had any meaningful interactions with adult women.
Instead, they concoct far-fetched claims that birth control is part of a culture of death that leads to the "hypersexualization" of youth and the destruction of human society. The intensity of their lobbying and their high-powered legal teams, supported by well-oiled groups like the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, not only led to success in the courts, but also built up enormous political capital that paid off with the election of Donald Trump, who fulfilled his promise to extreme religious leaders by signing an executive order that allows any employer, religious or secular, to opt out of the contraceptive benefit on the basis of any vague moral objection.
That benefit allowed 55 million women access to contraception at no cost.For heterosexual men in seminary, a woman was seen as a temptation, and her sexuality something to be regarded with fear or loathing, since it could lead to a fall from grace.Gay seminarians, on the other hand, likely had little interest in female sexuality at all.But priests and bishops cannot possibly be so isolated from human experience that they do not understand the necessity of using birth control to maintain a manageable family size.There is something bizarre and unseemly about a group of celibate men who have such a preoccupation with controlling women's fertility.More than a quarter of Filipino people live on the equivalent of 62 cents a day, and some families are forced to abandon their children to the streets because they cannot provide for them.In African countries with large Catholic populations, the bishops refuse to acknowledge the impact that contraceptives could have on reducing Africa's high maternal mortality rate. Catholic bishops have exerted enormous influence in rolling back the contraceptive mandate in the 2014 Affordable Care Act.An estimated 25 percent of health care facilities in developing countries are operated by Catholic institutions, making the church the world's largest non-governmental provider of health care services.Even in the United States, one out of six hospital beds is in a Catholic facility.One would think that these grim statistics would be enough for the Catholic hierarchy to reconsider its position or, at the very least, initiate an honest assessment of the ways in which its doctrine might be exacerbating this human tragedy.But the bishops have only dug in their heels, using their health care facilities, financial resources and political influence to make the church perhaps the most powerful force in the world driving the movement to restrict access to birth control.