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Students Reflect on Women’s Reproductive Rights 1

Being Catholic and a girl who may or may not use birth control in the future, I struggle to form a stance on the recent political debates on birth control. I understand and respect others’ religions and their religious beliefs. Yet, I strongly believe in individual liberty. If a woman deems birth control necessary she should be able to access it.

President Obama intends to ensure that “every woman should be in control of decisions that affect her own health,” making access to birth control a right. Obama’s current health care plan asks health insurance companies, not employers, to provide appropriate health care, including coverage of birth control. Many who oppose accessibility to birth control seem ignorant of the medicinal uses it has. Not only does it prevent unplanned pregnancies, it also prevents endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and ovarian cysts.

When Congress organized a hearing on the accessibility of the plan, Chairman Republican Darrell Issa refused to allow any women to testify for Obama’s plan as they were “not appropriate or qualified.” Caroline Maloney, a Democratic representative, said “I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women…that want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning.”

Issa’s committee eventually allowed a woman, Sandra Fluke, to testify in support of Obama’s plan. After making her public statement, Fluke faced the wrath of Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio host. Limbaugh unrightfully interpreted Fluke’s pleas, “She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”

My disgust after hearing Limbaugh’s comments and the lack of representation at the hearing have led me to believe that open access to birth control will allow true equality. In a culture where unplanned pregnancy often results in unstable families, the woman is left responsible for the child and has to experience the pregnancy. It is a woman who will be affected by the issue of birth control; it seems logical and fair to argue that women should have the final decision in this matter. Or more simply stated: No uterus, no opinion.


Gibson, David. “Obama Birth Control: Religious Groups Exempted from Contraception Rule.” Huffington Post. N.p., 11 Feb. 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2012.

Bassett, Laura, and Amanda Terkel. “House Democrats Walk out of One-Sided Hearing on Contraception, Calling It an ‘Autocratic Regime.’” Huffington Post. N.p., 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. .

Mirkinson, Jack. “Rush Limbaugh: Sandra Fluke, Woman Denied Right to Speak at Contraception Hearing, a ‘Slut.’” Huffington Post. N.p., 29 Feb. 2012. Web. 6 Mar. 2012. .