President Obama has sponsored legislation to protect the rights of women in the United States, this law is being contested by some religious organizations and conservative politicians. The law that is being debated requires employers to cover the cost of contraception. In class we have touched upon the fact that family planning increases the earning potential and political autonomy of women in developing nations. Is the situation different for women in the US?
According to an article by Nick Baumann “Most of Obama’s ‘Controversial’ Birth Control Rule Was Law During Bush Years.” US Senator John McCain has recently changed his position concerning womens right to birth control. According to the Senator “I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives.” This is a novel idea. While I suspect that McCain may have some implicit political agenda in his change of stance, I see it as a move in the right direction. The truth about contraception and womens bodies is frequently concealed behind political agendas, as highlighted in a Huffington Post article by Kay Hall.
Opposition to the legislation comes from organizations that seek to “Restore Religious Freedom in America.” I do not personally understand how freedom is restored by limiting womens rights to make decisions concerning their own bodies. From my perspective the bill does not endanger religious freedom in any way, someone still has the option to choose not to use contraception. The bill does protect the rights of those who wish to use contraception.