As a Christian, I have many personal reservations against some types of reproductive rights, but my general policy is that increasing access to contraception will decrease the number of abortions both in our country and around the world. It will also decrease maternal mortality rates. In the 21st century, there is no reason for 1,000 women to die in childbirth every day.
So why all the uproar over the last few weeks about contraception/religious freedom? This article may explain one of the big reasons. After all, women have only been able to control their own fertility for around 50 years compared to the the 10,000 or 100,000 or however many years patriarchal societies have existed.
In most cultures, [men] had the right to sex on demand within the marriage, and also to break their marriage vows with impunity — a luxury that would get women banished or killed. As long as pregnancy remained the defining fact of [women's] lives, [men] got to run the whole show.Everything changed. Let's remember that the way it's been is not how it's always been, and the way it'll be depends on how we'll act now.
Thousands of generations of men and women have lived under some variant of this order — some variations more benevolent, some more brutal, but all similar enough in form and intention — in all times and places, going back to where our memory of time ends. Look at it this way, and you get a striking perspective on just how world-changing it was when, within the span of just a few short decades in the middle of the 20th century, all of that suddenly ended. For the first time in human history, new technologies made fertility a conscious choice for an ever-growing number of the planet’s females. And that, in turn, changed everything else.
Male privilege has been with us for — how long? Ten thousand years? A hundred thousand? Contraception, in the mere blink of an eye in historical terms, toppled the core rationale that justified that entire system. And now, every aspect of human society is frantically racing to catch up with that stunning fact. Everything will have to change in response to this — families, business, religion, politics, economics…everything.