By Jessica Mitchell
Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum’s personal morals and beliefs have crossed the forbidden line into aspiring laws and rules. His views on women’s health, contraception and abortion directly reflect his religious status and now he is trying to force it upon the country.
Santorum’s views go as far as states having the right to ban birth control because of his belief that contraception is dangerous and something to stay away from. Not only should states have the right to ban birth control, but they should also be able to enforce laws against any other form of contraception including educational programs.
“One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is [what] I think [of] the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea,” Santorum said in an October ABC News/Yahoo! debate. “Many in the Christian faith have said, ‘Well, that’s OK. Contraception’s OK.’ It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
Not only should states have the right to ban birth control, but he believes they should also be able to enforce laws against any other form of contraception including educational programs.
While in the U.S. Senate in 2005, Santorum voted against funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs. He also aspired to end Title X for Planned Parenthood, which would ultimately eradicate access to preventative health care services for millions of women.
Not only does contraception carry a severe negative moral weight with Santorum, it carries a criminal weight. He authorizes a federal ban on abortion that would criminalize and send doctors who perform it to jail.
Even in matters of rape, incest or harmful birth, Santorum affirms that contraception is malicious and a harm to our society. According to whom?
Currently in the Netherlands, abortions are legal and financially provided for. Not only are contraceptives easily accessible, sex education is an acknowledged part of their schools’ curriculum. Against Santorum’s affirmations, their society is in no way malicious or in danger of being harmed. In fact, the Netherlands houses one of the lowest rates of abortion in the world.
With a shockingly high percentage of teenage girls undergoing abortions in the U.S., my first initial action would be to add more education involving planning and uses of contraception; not to eliminate it completely.
Even if Santorum gets his way and states start outlawing contraception, women will continue to have abortions and our country’s abortion rates may even rise. Closing the door to a controversial situation does not abolish it or make it go away. It only intensifies the situation even further.
Not only are Santorum’s personal religious and moral philosophies impeding on his ability to attempt to speak for an entire country, he is failing to understand the implications to his proposed laws.
His personal views on abortion do not need to be forced upon the rest of this country’s population and until he has carried a child and experienced the pain of giving birth, he does not need to be telling women what they can and cannot do with their sexual health. His personal morals should not be allowed to become public policy.
Contact Jessica Mitchell, features editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.