Contraception and the environment: let’s take better care of this garden

One of the issues that has been bothering me lately is the focus on birth control and abortion and how to apply federal and state policy in the spectrum of domains in which this applies.

While I’m not really for abortion, I’m for it in the case of rape/incest, where the pregnancy is endangering the life of the person, or where the person who is pregnant is still a child herself. And I don’t know that I have the right to tell someone she cannot have an abortion even if she and the male were careless and didn’t use contraception, so I guess that makes me pro-choice.

I find it difficult to reconcile my anti-killing stance with being pro-choice. When I think of the case of war and soldiers being deployed to war, I am not so pro-choice. I do not think it is correct to purposefully set out to kill, and I know that the history of U.S. policy has been more imperialistic than altruistic, save for possibly the case of World War II.

Even though I don’t know about abortion in every case, I do know there’s a middle path of dialogue and fostering healthier communities such that fewer adults and children are placed in the position of having unwanted pregnancies. Contraception is an important part of this, and it’s always surprised me that some have been against contraception.

I just cannot conceive that sex is only for creating children. Sex is for more than that–it is for romance, intimacy. To take away contraception seems really harsh for men and women, and especially for women’s health. Having a baby can be really hard on a woman’s body, having multiple children more so.

I think about contraception not only in terms of the wellbeing of people in our society, but in terms of the health of the environment. Our world population is pushing 6.85 billion people. With the current mismanagement of resources, a billion people don’t have access to clean water and many suffer food shortages, and the environment has been degraded by obsolete industrial farming practices. Promoting anti-contraception policies that could contribute to an exacerbation of population growth seems so shortsighted. I am hoping that religious people will examine their thoughts about this. Let’s not degrade this Eden by having more children than it can sustain, and let’s take better care of those we have.

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