Amanda over at Pandagon takes on the “morality” of the so-called “conscience clause” pharmacists. I’ve been trying for so long to explain that someone else’s morality should in no way trump my morality when it comes to issues of my body, but I think Amanda has really hit the issue at its heart.
As a staunchly childfree woman, I need to remember this one for when I start trying to find a doctor who will sterilize me:
Having baby after baby would be wicked of me. I cannot provide for one child, much less 6 to a dozen. And it’s not just a money issue. My boyfriend and I are both crazy busy people who barely squeeze in time to feed and play with our cats, so a baby would certainly suffer at our hands. I have strong beliefs that one should only have children if you are committed to raising that child up the best you can, and since I can’t do that for a child, I feel it would be immoral of me to have one.
Amanda’s right; it is, in my moral code at least, completely immoral to have a child you cannot and/or will not properly take care of. For someone like me, who never wants kids, I have the option of permanent sterilization (if I can find a doctor willing to perform it on a young, childless woman). For others, though, it’s not that they never want a baby, but that they don’t want one right now. For them, using birth control is the only moral choice. And I, for one, stand by that choice: children should be a product of an informed decision, not an accident due to negligence!
The religious right steps up and says, “If you don’t want children then practice abstinence, you immoral slut!” That’s all well and good for some people, but not for me. I may be childfree, but I’m not asexual. My moral code says that I need to do what it takes to keep myself, my partners, and my relationships healthy and happy. For me, that means that I will engage in safe sex as part of that happiness regimen.
And frankly, it’s stupid and immoral to expect me to prioritize the precepts of a religion I don’t follow that worships a deity I don’t believe in over the well-being of myself and my partner.
I could write an article on this line alone, but suffice it to say that Amanda has summarized one of my biggest critiques about the conservative government currently in power. I must say that I’m heartily sick of this so-called “moral” legislation which is “the only morals are my morals.” Really, it’s not so hard of a concept to say that “as long as my morals hurt no one, then they should be protected.” Don’t like BC? Fine, don’t use it! But stay the hell out of my way when I want it.