World Contraception Day

September 26 was apparently World Contraception Day (there’s a day for everything, I swear. It’s the Rule 34 of calendars). Of course, as usual, religious nutbars people had something to contribute to the discussion around contraception. And as usual, the writer I came across misses the point of contraception.

The writer, Obianuju Ekeocha, begins by listing some of the groups who celebrate contraception, and the reasons why they do. This starts off badly, accusing radical feminists of seeing motherhood as slavery, and it dribbles down in the same vein for a while. The joys of polygamists, pimps, eugenicists, and racists all have reasons to like contraception, it seems, and these people are implied to be the sort of people contraception is really for.

Big corporate interests are invoked as both being in control of and profiting from contraception. This may be true in some ways, especially the cash flow, although I would suspect that contraceptives make up only a small fraction of their profits.

Toddling in near the bottom is a stunning example of what I can only describe as wilful stupidity. The claim is that the abortion industry celebrates contraception because it’s “the undeniable gateway” to abortion. This betrays Ekeocha as having absolutely no idea about how contraception works, or the ways to prevent the need for abortion (the best of which is to provide affordable contraception and good education). In this line, she throws away whatever credibility she had. She simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

After invoking a few more bogeymen, Ekeocha starts picking on women. Apparently choosing abortion has caused all sorts of woes, tarnishing the very idea of womanhood. Breast cancer, pornography, substance abuse, abortions (!) and more are all because women have been lured by the government and big corporations to take control of their bodies and have the right to reproductive freedom.

“Women have nothing to celebrate on this day. Nothing!
We only have tears of pain, shame, regret, and loss.”

Look, lady, that may be where you stand, but I choose to take the freedom offered by contraception. I choose to not be producing a kid a year, because I could not raise them and give them the care they needed. There is no shame or loss in being able to make reproductive decisions. I shed no tears of loss.

What bothers me most about this article is that it was written by a woman. She’s rejecting one of the most significant steps in working toward women’s equality. She’s welcome to reject it if that makes her happy, but telling other women that their contraceptive use is shameful is not something I can accept. I believe that women should have choices, and that no-one has any right to say anything about that choice unless explicitly asked to.

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