A Soldier’s Thoughts on Birth Control, Religion and Women in the Military

I’ve become somewhat of an accidental feminist lately. I’ve struggled mightily with my religion’s stance on birth control and finally accepted that, well, I’m just a bad catholic. I always figure I’m about one step away from excommunication anyway, so there’s that, too. I bit my tongue recently (mostly) when FoxNews featured that Lizz Trotta when she said that women in the military should expect to be raped because we’re serving in close quarters with men. I fail to see how a reporter who has never served in the military (your little boondoggle to Vietnam doesn’t count), how has no current experience with the military and oh by the way, a so called news network that is allegedly pro military, can put this information out there. We should expect to be raped? Why because my brothers in uniform are such Neanderthal cave men that they can’t control themselves? Honey, we got over the women incite men to lust uncontrollably a long time ago. Fox News should be ashamed of themselves for slandering the men and women who wear the uniform they claim to support.

Hey, Fox News, you don’t get to have it both ways: you can’t say that women in the military are being raped too much (and is there ever really an appropriate amount of rape?) on the one hand and then complain when those same women who oh by the way volunteered to serve, want birth control so as not to be perceived as “getting pregnant to get out of war”.

But folks, this entire debate about birth control and religion has gone too far when the members of the House refuse to allow women to testify at a hearing on the Affordable Care Act and mandatory coverage of birth control by employers. This is not about religious freedom, either because no one is forcing anyone to take anything. The Affordable Care Act ensures that women who are covered by insurance can get birth control covered.

I am so sorry if your religious beliefs state that I should be in the home barefoot and pregnant. I am so deeply sorry if your religious beliefs are so archaic as to not keep up with actual SCIENCE and provide ethical and rational discussion on being a responsible human being and oh by the way, have children that you can provide for, love and care for.

I’ll even buy your argument that if you’re a man, you shouldn’t have to pay into a system that forces you to cover my birth control. Fine. Then you can pay into a system that covers thousands of births annually instead because oh by the way, you still have to participate in the whole making a baby thing. Having kids is expensive. I promise you, it is far cheaper to pay for a pack of little pills each month than to cover prenatal care, labor and delivery. That’s for healthy babies. And don’t get me started on denying emergency contraception to RAPE VICTIMS. Folks, I’ve got a little news for you: if someone reports to the emergency room and states they were raped, they probably were.

Oh and one more teeny little fact before you say that you shouldn’t be forced to pay into a system that you believe is covering abortions: According to the IRS, an abortion is a legitimate medical expense. That’s right, folks, your tax dollars are already subsidizing abortions whether you like it or not. So get over it.

Folks a basic tenant of equality in this country means that I can decide to get pregnant or not. That is my right as an equal citizen, just as any man. This is NOT about abortion. This is about preventing a pregnancy and being a responsible adult who is capable of more than the sum of her lady parts. If someone cannot afford birth control, how are they supposed to afford a child? Oh and let’s not forget that birth control is also used to treat disorders like ovarian cysts so the so called morality argument is bogus.

For members of Congress to hold a hearing on birth control and religious freedom and to refuse to allow ANY WOMEN to participate, to have NO FEMALE RELIGIOUS LEADERS involved in the discussion, and to actually consider passing legislation that treats women as second class citizens because of the potential that they may give birth is an outrage. For a presidential debate to honest to God be running on issues about birth control when our economy is in the tank, our education system is failing, our infrastructure is crumbling and our entitlement programs are out of control is a shame and we the people should be embarrassed that this national discourse is being held in our name.

And let’s not forget about a little war we’re still running over in Afghanistan and the more than 13% of OIF & OEF Veterans that are out of work.

Folks, I am tired of seeing these so called religious freedom debates taking over our national politics. Freedom of religion means that you are free to practice your religion and to NOT impose it on me. The right to swing your fist ends with someone else’s face.

The freedom to practice your religion ends when it infringes on my rights to be an equal and full citizen.

11 thoughts on “A Soldier’s Thoughts on Birth Control, Religion and Women in the Military”

  1. Great post, Jessica! Ms. Trotta made me livid. She somehow failed to notice that in her eagerness to insult military women, she ended up insulting and demeaning military MEN far more. Shame on her and on Fox News.

  2. I must say that I thought that Ms.Trotta's particular opinion on how women who serve in the military should expect to be raped was assine and ignorant. Having been deployed numerous times I must say that I never had any real issues with that particular problem until my last deployment. When within a two and half week there were three sexual assaults within half mile surrounding my location. Being a shift worker (and the only one from my team at that location) I was more terrified by becoming number four than I was of incoming mortars. That being said it's not just women in the military that are attacked, men too have to be cautious as well. Which is sad as we have enough things to worry about without worrying if our battle buddy is going to be a jackass and sexually assault us because they don't want to get their jollies by themselves.

    I completely agree and think you are spot on regarding contraception. I too am trying to understand how no women were allowed to present the other side of the story for the Affordable Care Act. How can one make a verdict when you merely have hearse, as men in the end can walk away and are not left with the permanent fall out if contraception is not used. You are correct in paying for a monthly pill will indefinably be cheaper in the long run than a child. Factoring in the health risks I am pretty sure regardless of your religious beliefs, whatever higher power you believe in would not want you to put your body in jeopardy. Especially when you could have done something so simple and little to prevent the destruction of your body. Its common sense.

    Keep up the great posts!

  3. Long ago, I got over trying to be a good Catholic. I prefer to simply be a good person because I believe that's really all Jesus ever wanted from any of us.

  4. I agree with everything you have said. Birth control in my family has always been very important. We have a disease called vonWillenbrand's. This is a bleeding disorder, which is not as severe as hemophilia, but is in the same family. It is basically a clotting disorder. I was on the pill as young as 16 and one of my daughters had to have her periods suspended in the 8th grade due the disease. This is done with birth control pills. These are imperative to her health.

    I am appalled that the men of Senate and House have decided what to do about the women's reproductive systems. I can't believe that there is a chance women who have been raped may not be able to get the emergency treatment they will need to prevent an unwanted and traumatic pregnancy.

    As far as rape in the military, those comments by Fox make me livid. I have two sons in the military. One is on his
    2nd tour in Afghanistan. They both respect the women they serve with and the comments made about women in the service should expect to get raped, is demeaning to the men who serve.

    As you said, in a time when we have a war, ailing economy and an educational system with a failing grade, it is sheer foolishness to be spending time debating on religion and birth control. Or is it incredibly smart to throw up a smoke screen to have everyone paying attention to something completely out in left field so the hard discussions about the war, economy and education don't have to be answered?

  5. Wow! Finally, someone who says, very eloquently mind you, exactly what I was thinking. I too must be just a horrible Catholic as I don't want to have more than the one child that I have. We cannot afford to have anymore either so why on earth would I want to do that? There are far too many people on welfare as it is. No need to add more just because some idiots don't want to give people the option to get birth control through their health insurance! My husband and I had this exact same discussion the other day with my arguments (ok well just my irritation coming out at the TV) that birth control was not only for people not wanting to get pregnant. I have known so many women over the years who have taken the pill for so many other reasons. Shame on those who feel the need to make us all sound like floozies just because we want to take some hormones! GRRRRRR No wonder I hate to watch Fox News.

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