A recent college graduate wrote an article expressing her concern that her private Catholic school gave her a degree but denied her birth control, calling it “something just as important for my future.”
The author, Mattise Wood, described her experiences at Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington, explaining how the school’s health center did not provide her with birth control when she requested it, nor did they refer her to the nearest Planned Parenthood.
In addition to equating birth control and Planned Parenthood referrals with receiving higher education, Wood said that the recent Supreme Court decision protecting the conscience rights of business owners and organizations may cause more women attending religious schools to have her experience. “I’m afraid for them,” Wood writes.
Wood says that birth control is “crucial for the success of students” and dismisses conscience protection saying “no other kind of health care is subject to the whims of your boss or your college administration.”
While she says getting the pill before women turn 21 is “the most influential factor enabling women already in college to stay there,” she neglects to mention that hormonal birth control has a high failure rate, and is also physically dangerous and psychologically harmful to women.
And as for conscience protections, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s rules that universities cannot be forced to provide birth control if it contradicts their religious or moral beliefs. Reducing people’s convictions to mere “whims” as she puts it, is not an accurate depiction of beliefs that babies should not be killed and women not be harmed by the damage abortion and birth control often bring.
Wood doesn’t respect that, first of all, Gonzaga as a private institution is protected by the freedom of conscience act so it does not have to provide birth control to students. Secondly, she does not even consider that since Gonzaga is a Catholic university, perhaps it does not provide birth control because the Catholic Church has always been opposed to abortion and birth control.
The tendency of America’s young people to trivialize the fact that they have no problem with the government forcing citizens to act contrary to their convictions is terrifying.
Regardless of Wood or Gonzaga’s stance on birth control, this instance shows the slippery slope religious schools — or any organization that opposes abortion or birth control — is up against. The dignity of human life deserves protection and so do the people who actively seek to protect it.