Birth control in its various forms is once again a hot topic of debate. Some religions forbid it, but studies show most "believers" ignore the position of their church and use birth control of some type.
Maybe this is a case of reality trumping ideology. Currently, the cost of raising a child until the age of 18, for a middle income family, is estimated to be $235,000. That does not include college. And "middle income" is considered $59,000-$102,870 per year. Wow! As a North Dakota teacher, with a Master's Degree, I never got even close to such a salary.
I recall a friend asking, "How many children can a woman actually be a mother to?" A very important question---the answer may depend on the woman herself, the family income (is she required to earn an income outside of the home?) and the health of the children. The answer will be very individual.
The answer should not be mandated by clerics, by government, nor by health care providers.
A few pharmacists are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and some employers are refusing to provide insurance that covers birth control for their employees. They claim this is a decision based on THEIR conscience.
i suggest this is NOT based on their conscience, but that they are imposing their religious beliefs on others, in violation of the Constituion of the US which guarantees Religious Freedom, and that includes the freedom to be free of another person's "religious" beliefs.
I think torture and killing are immoral. But my beliefs do not allow me to not pay taxes that support the military. I am grateful we have a national guard to help in times of crisis and that our taxes provide for our safety. Taxes pay for both necessities and conveniences. Andour growing society demands more of both, conveniences and necessities.
In the year 1, there were about 200 million people on earth. By the year 1000, estimates are the human population was 275 million; by the Middle Ages, 1500, estimates are 450 million. During these times, a sermon based on "Be fruitful and multiply" made sense. Currently estimates are the earth is home to 7 BILLION humans---each consuming food and water, and minerals. Thanks to modern medicine, modern farming, and sanitation, by 2025, just twelve years from now, there will be 8 Billion.
Not only are humans rapidly depleting the earth's resources, but each one of us adds to contaminating the air, earth, and water.
We are threatening the survival of many, many other species: gorillas, orangutans, elephants, rhinos, to name of few of the mammals. Slash and burn farming is threatening the ozone layer, pollution is killing coral reefs, many fish and amphibiams, and even bees and other pollinators are disappearing. And close to home---I used to see and hear meadowlarks, but I have not heard our state bird sing for several years. Where are they?
Humans need to recognize that our unlimited reproduction threatens life, all life on planet earth. We need to treat all the earth and other life forms with loving respect and gratitude. We need to take responsibility for our world. We need to see the connections between an ever increasing human population and an every decreasing population of other species and the limited resources of earth to sustain life.
The truly moral act is to limit our reproduction to the number of children we can support---and the earth can support. Birth control is not immoral. Wise choices that recognise our personal reality and the earth's reality are the Moral Choice. Choices that allow all life forms to survive, to have food and clean water and air, are the Moral choice. Unlimited growth means eventual collapse and death. These are choices to be made by individuals, not made for us by institutions or outsiders.