Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Nuns, Liars, and Lying Nuns: Stop Pretending Catholic Women Don't Use Birth Control
First for the completely anecdotal evidence, I'm a baptized and confirmed Catholic (my saint name is Jude, Patron Saint of Lost Causes and Hopeless Cases, which sometimes feels all too accurate). I spent 13 years in Catholic school, and in all that time, I knew exactly one family that had more than 4 kids. Now I really don't want to think too hard about the sex lives of the parents who drove my carpool and coached my sports teams, but since my friends were mostly only had one or two siblings, I'm left to either assume that their parents either desperately need to be in couples therapy, or they were in fact ignoring the Church's teachings when it came to birth control.
And the research backs up my experience, with 98% of Catholic women admitting to researchers that they use birth control. Now here's the thing that happens when you ask people questions about whether they've done something illegal, or say SINFUL, they sometimes lie. Also some Catholic women are nuns (and at least if the Canterbury Tales are to be believed, some of those nuns are lying). So it's technically possible that all Catholic women use birth control.
But here's the thing, that's not actually the point. The point is that no employer should get to make medical decisions for their employees. If you're Catholic and you're using birth control, the Church says that's a sin. But your employer has nothing to do with it, especially when Catholic universities and hospitals employ non-Catholics and a whole lot of Catholic women who disagree with the Church on this issue. Absolutely no one would pretend it would be ok for a Jehovah's Witness organization to deny health insurance coverage for blood transfusions because their religion believes them to be immoral. Instead it's up to individual Jehovah's Witnesses to decide for themselves when they're patients what's right for them. As it should be. The Catholic Church says birth control is a sin, and since a whole lot of Catholics are using birth control, that's something we're going to have to work out with our partners, our confessors, and our God. But our employers, whether religious or secular, need to back the hell off.