Hilltop Views

Religious freedom gives opportunity to attack women’s rights to contraceptives


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It is incredible that under current leadership, moving forward isn’t an option; instead, the primary goal seems largely focused on dismantling everything accomplished during the Obama administration.

In fact, rights that were thought to be required are being taken away on a daily basis under President Trump. For those a part of any marginalized group, it seems as we are going back in time; as if the civil rights movement never happened and Obama was never president. This time it is women who are being targeted. As if the pay gap, catcalling, “pink” tax (where women pay more for their clothes, razors and shampoos than men), unpaid maternity leave and so on wasn’t enough, we now have to worry about birth control.

The Trump administration has allowed employers, under the right of religious freedom, to deny insurance for contraception to women. Birth control costs between $160 to $600 a year and, as you can deduce, many women are not able to afford it without coverage from their work insurance.

Because of this new policy, hundreds of thousands of women will lose their right to be able to control how or when they decide to get pregnant. Unplanned pregnancies lead to many issues such as a higher risk of lower birth weight for the infant and an increased likelihood of not having prenatal care, which can disadvantage the infant later in life. Moreover, women who do not want to have children have their reasons. They are either in the middle of their career, single, too young, not married, not interested in having a kid or broke. They have more than enough reasonable arguments to want to prevent a pregnancy.

So what happens when women can’t afford birth control? Well, the so-called religious freedom solution for this would be for women to control themselves from having a sexual life. Or maybe they should just accept the possibility of having to be a single mom, having a kid when they don’t have the money, having to stop their career to be a mother or of having an abortion (wait, that right might be taken away too).

These are all such aberrant options for the sake of “religious freedom.” No religion’s purpose is to deny someone’s freedom. What’s worse is that these policies are imposed by an administration whose leader is sexist; tweeting comments such as, “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” The fact that a man such as Trump is able to dictate my rights and the rights of other women in this country is insane.

Even the CEO of National Women’s Law Center has this to say: “By taking away women’s access to no-cost birth control coverage, the rules give employers a license to discriminate against women. We will take immediate legal steps to block these unfair and discriminatory rules.”

These policies concerning birth control and abortion are just another way to oppress women and shouldn’t be overlooked. Women enrolled in college should realize the impact these policies have for their future and fight for their freedom. Most of all, young men should fight for women’s rights if they don’t want to end up with a kid or to stop continue enjoying their sexual freedom.

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Religious freedom gives opportunity to attack women’s rights to contraceptives