Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Letter: Issue is about women's rights

I find this trumped up issue about religious freedom verses making contraceptives available for women neo-con, fundamentalist, Karl Rovian presidential politics in full swing.

Nearly 100 percent of women, including Catholic women, at some point in their lives have used contraceptives. This issue is really about a woman's freedom to have a choice and make a decision as to what is best for her health, her children's and her family's health, without interference from the government, religious lobbies or male presidential candidates who pass themselves off as know-it-all culture warriors.


Her decision is nobody else's business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to research that supports the universal availability of contraceptives as a choice for women because providing contraceptives often increases the quality of health care.What is it that the male hierarchy of the Catholic Church and fundamentalists do not get? Catholic sisters get it.

A religious organization that opens a hospital and hires medical and custodial staff from outside the organization's faith becomes more than a proselytizer of its particular brand of beliefs. It becomes an employer in the broadest sense, coming under anti-discrimination laws.


These laws have nothing to do with increased power of the government over individuals. They protect individual employees in the marketplace from being discriminated against or, even worse for those who are not of the same faith, being placed in a position where because they don't want to lose their job they have to endure the unwelcome intrusion into their lives of a religion in which they do not believe.

Employers cannot discriminate against individuals because of race, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin or sexual orientation.

Are we still a nation that roots for the freedom of the rights of the individual, which, by the way, for those who are unsure includes women? Or are we on our way to reducing our nation to a corporate, political theocracy, like the Taliban, and if not enslaving women, diminishing their rights and sending them back to the Dark Ages?

Obviously, the availability of contraceptives, the right to choose or not choose them and, without health insurance, their upwards of $600 yearly cost are not minor health issues for women, their daughters and granddaughters.

This is a woman's fight for quality health care, a fight to remain the sole decision-maker about issues that affect her body, her children and her family. Enlightened men should join with them in this fight today before it's too late. Vote for women's rights.

John D. Witiak

Union Bridge