The Roman Catholic Church knows from its study of natural law that contraception is wrong because it is bad for humanity. There are lots of excellent posts about Humanae Vitae out there, so I'm not going to trudge over that ground again. If you want to be taken seriously in this debate, you need to read Humanae Vitae. Just do it.
In the meantime, what I'm not seeing is a round-up of recent writing about the serious risks to health and happiness posed by The Pill, so I've included some links below. It is important for you to understand that Jean Sebelius and the HHS (and therefore President Obama, since Sebelius works for him) are not helping women by promoting oral contraceptives.
By the way: the general attitude seems to be that the only option for single women is to use contraception and exhibit a general carelessness about intimate acts with men you don't know. It is not the only option. Your options as a mature woman include being picky and discerning about the kind of men with whom you associate; controlling your relationships to maximize your health and chances of happiness for both you and your eventual husband; and planning your life so that you have less risk of being a single mother, which is nowhere near as fun or as comfortable as life with a good man. No one is going to do this for you. You must do it for yourself, preferably when you're quite young, so that you know what you're going to say and do - and not say and not do - during your teenage years and beyond.
Choice is when a mother can decide when and how long to either work or stay home with her children. A real choice is the one you make for yourself, not living up to someone else's notions of how to live life as a woman. You get to make that choice for yourself and your children when you have a spouse whom you love and respect and who is a good provider.
All right, rant over. Here is why I believe the insistence on oral contraception does not show concern for women:
From "How the Pill Changed the World, and the Fertility Problems It's Causing Women Today," by Vanessa Grigoriadis, New York Magazine, published Nov. 28, 2010 and retrieved March 17, 2012:
But there’s also no reason not to talk about the more complex changes long-term use of the Pill has wrought, instead of finger-pointing over compromising women’s choices. After all, these days, there’s not as much pressure to procreate as one may imagine. Most mothers, who were at least tangentially part of feminism’s early waves, know better than to stress women out about when they’re having children, even if an aunt puts her foot in her mouth from time to time. And, of course, bosses would rather women were around all the time, thumbing their BlackBerrys in the off-hours. “There’s a strain of feminist thought that’s still trapped in the mind-set that the male patriarchy wants women pregnant and has been withholding things like abortion and contraception from them because of it,” says Liza Mundy, author of Everything Conceivable, a comprehensive book about fertility treatments in America. “To me, that’s a laughably simplistic view of the world.” (my emphasis)The Pill is dangerous. It affects women's health. From The Pill is Not Good for Women by
And this points to an unresolved difficulty with the contraceptive revolution, which was supposed to serve women above all: Women on the whole disproportionately bear the burden of the new sexual regime. They are expected to dose themselves with a Group 1 carcinogen for approximately two-thirds of their fertile years. They sustain greater emotional costs from casual sex. They are at greater risk of contracting STDs and disproportionately suffer from their long-term consequences, such as cervical cancer and fertility loss.And even after 50 years with the Pill, as many as half of all pregnancies are still unintended. Women, not men, must make the heart-wrenching choice between abortion, reckoned a tragic outcome even by its supporters, and bearing a child with little to no paternal support. After all, since children were negotiated out of the bargain by the availability of contraception and abortion, men have secured a strong rationale to simply ignore or reject pregnancies that result from uncommitted sexual relations. Nobel-laureate economist George Akerlof predicted nearly two decades ago that this would lead directly to the feminization of poverty, as it ruefully has. (my emphasis)A woman who is taking the Pill during her courtship is liable to find herself with the wrong guy. From "Having Trouble Finding the One? Maybe the Pill is to Blame," by Megan Gray, published at TheZerosBeforeTheOne.com on February 24, 2012, and retrieved March 17, 2012:
Men aren’t the only ones affected by subtle chemical changes when it comes to the scents of attraction. The Pill may change what kind of man you’re attracted to, and not for the better.The Pill can delay fertility. From "Pill can Delay a Baby Far Longer than You Want" by Claire Henry, published at The Telegraph online on August 13, 2007, retrieved March 13, 2012:
"I have seen cases where women in their thirties have not ovulated for two or three years after taking the contraceptive pill," says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Solutions to Infertility. "The Pill artificially suppresses your hormones, effectively making your ovaries dormant. Sometimes it can make the reproductive system go into hibernation."In my case, the Pill caused my manageable bouts of headache to become migraines of terrific intensity that would keep me in bed for up to 72 hours. I quit taking the Pill, but the migraines, and the unfortunate marriage that I probably wouldn't have gotten into if I hadn't been addled by hormones, lingered on for years and years.
Oh, and remember that the environmentalists make a big noisy deal out of chemicals in the environment, with one notable exception: the hormones all those contracepting women excrete into the water supply. Not one peep do you hear about this, but it is happening, and the effects are unknown but plausibly happening. From "Can Birth Control Hormones Be Filtered from the Water Supply?", posted in Scientific American on July 28, 2009:
One of the common culprits is estrogen, much of which is inadvertently released into sewers through the urine of women taking birth control. Studies have shown that estrogen can wreak reproductive havoc on some fish, which spawn infertile offspring sporting a mixture of male and female parts. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that human breast cancer cells grew twice as fast when exposed to estrogen taken from catfish caught near untreated sewage overflows. “There is the potential for an increased risk for those people who are prone to estrogenic cancer,” said Conrad Volz, lead researcher on the study.
What may be more troubling is the mixture of contaminants and how they might interact to cause health problems. “The biggest concern is the stew effect,” says Scott Dye of the Sierra Club’s Water Sentinels program. “Trace amounts of this mixed with trace amounts of that can equal what? We don’t know.”If you want to get mad at selfish men, get mad at the men who invented the Pill, and those who ensured it got onto the market and into the bodies of women. It was a dream come true for selfish men to have women willing to have sex with no strings attached. Women, we were once denied the vote because we were judged too flighty and credulous to make good decisions. Let's look again at the Pill, its history, the reasoning of the Catholic Church (so that we know it, and aren't falling for the scare tactics of the administration) and the documented consequences and concerns, and decide if it is really the best choice for us.