To the editor:
There were so many things wrong with Ruth Casey's letter to the editor of Feb. 12 that it's hard for me to know where to begin ("Contraception makes life better.") First, the writer made the statement that the GOP candidates for president have "decided that the most urgent issue in the country is contraception." What is she talking about? The only time contraception was brought up in the debates was when George Stephanopoulos asked the candidates if states have the right to ban contraception and if it was constitutional to do so. The question was so irrelevant to the issues of the day that even the audience began booing when Stephanopoulos pressed the issue. In the end, all the candidates stated that this was not as issue in front of the American people at the present moment, and that if it was, we cannot ban contraception. Case closed.
To what, then is the author referring? If she is talking about the HHS mandate that eliminates any exceptions for Catholics who do not want to pay for contraception, the writer clearly shows she does not understand the issue at stake. Contraception is not the issue. Pregnancy prevention is provided abundantly for women through many different avenues. The issue is whether or not Catholic institutions should be forced to pay for something that they find morally objectionable. This is an issue of freedom of religion.
Finally, the writer's tirade against pregnancy was personally offensive to me and I cannot let it go unanswered. Clearly, Ms. Casey sees pregnancy as a disease that needs a cure. Before the "miracle" of contraception, women were subject to poverty, shackled to their homes and even faced death from "perpetual pregnancy."
All of these assumptions are absurd. First of all, pregnancy is not a disease. Women were made to have children, literally. Yes, women should have a say in their family size, but to make the assertion that having a large family is a curse is directly contrary to the way that children have been seen by society for hundreds of years. This may greatly surprise the writer, but my mother gave birth to 10 children and now, in her late 60s she is in excellent health. I have many friends throughout the country and in this very town who have five, seven and, yes, even 12 children. These women are beautiful, and strong, and happy. When people meet me and I tell them I have nine children of my own their first reaction is "You look great!" and I always think, "How am I supposed to look?"
There are a lot of assumptions about mothers of large families, most of which are born of the modern feminist movement which sees pregnancy as a curse, a disease and not a blessing. My health is great, thank you very much, and I proudly say that I believe what my church teaches about contraception and that belief has made me a better person - not an oppressed woman.