Commentary by Judie Brown
As one who has fought on the front lines of the pro-life battle for much of my adult life, it's my perception that there is mass confusion in this nation about what it really means to be a man, or a woman ? a member if you will of a specific gender.
In light of that reality, it has also been my experience that nothing in this life happens by accident.
So when I heard that fellow activist Joe Scheidler's Pro-Life Action League was sponsoring a major conference based on the theme "Contraception is not the answer," I was elated. What in the world does this conference have to do with understanding the incredible differences between masculinity and femininity? More than you might possibly ever think.
In my lifetime I have witnessed a near total emasculation of men. From newspaper ads to television cartoons, men are depicted as lousy, forgetful husbands; selfish, childish dads; and nothing short of total ignoramuses. By the same token, the same media will advise us by image and word that women have it all together, they are "take charge" dynamos and the puppy-dog males, be they husbands or boyfriends, just have to wait; they will be led around by their shirt collars, sooner or later.
Those images tend to generate suspicion among the young about what it means to be married. Many such portrayals contribute to the idea that nobody ? whether married or single ? would possibly be happy about bringing children into the world. In fact if one were to take these images and rhetorical word pictures to heart, family life would have gone south a long time ago.
Actually, for one out of every two marriages, it has.
Among the contributing factors, right up there with that great American family, the Simpsons, is contraception. For years it has been touted as the solution to all manner of problems, solutions that always revolve around keeping sexual relations devoid of children.
During the recent Plan B hype, we have heard arguments by the score in favor of giving high-dose prescription drugs to any young woman who feels the urge. If she is 18 or older, no prescription is required, just a driver's license so she can prove her age. And if she's under 18, at least according to President Bush, she needs a prescription (or a good friend who is 18 to get the pills for her). It's all so simple, isn't it?
Well before this current debate ? years before, in fact, during the mid-1980s ? Planned Parenthood was already giving teens and young women mega-doses of the pill. Planned Parenthood's reasons was that if there was an "emergency," meaning "unprotected sex," the client really needed to have these little pills on hand. Just in case, of course!
Ever since this contraceptive bandwagon started rolling along more than 40 years ago, the sales pitch has always been the same. America is told that women need to take charge of their lives. Women need to wear the pants in the family and put their careers ahead of everything. Women need to be on a pill regimen or use some kind of device so they can be free ... from pregnancy.
As the feminists used to say, "No woman really wants to stay home and raise a bunch of snotty nosed brats anyway."
That was then and this is now. And those images and word pictures are now reality and the situation is getting dire indeed.
Headlines tell us that 12-year-old children should be vaccinated to protect them from sexually transmitted disease. Experts explain that the vast majority of young people are going to engage in sex before they graduate from high school, so we need to help them get on with their lives by providing sex instruction and birth control, and of course abortion for those times when mistakes occur.
There is no outrage from the parents; most of whom are working, and many of whom have already left the family to pursue other concerns.
There are few sermons on this touchy topic because, after all, since more than 80 percent of us are already using the stuff, why raise hackles by speaking the truth?
As a result, lives continue to be destroyed, hearts continue to be broken, psychological well-being continues to be twisted into one psychosis or another, and life goes on.
How do you suppose this tragic trend will end? Judging by a news report I just finished reading, it could be at the expense of more lives than all the Middle East conflicts combined.
Research shows that infections with the virus that causes genital herpes are now very common among teen girls. Obviously, those with whom they are having relations are susceptible to the viral infection as well. As sexually transmitted diseases continue to spread throughout the teen population, it occurs to me that the future is dismal at best. What with infertility, rapidly increasing rates of breast cancer and cervical cancer, plus increased risk of premature death from pulmonary embolism and stroke (known to be side effects of the pill), it's quite possible that this coming generation of adults could resemble the barren waste of a desert; dry, cracking and decaying.
I also know that where there is life, there is hope; the hope for these young people resides with you, with me and with our dedication to spread the truth. Providing the facts about contraception and what it is really all about can save them. In the process we adults just might learn a thing or two ourselves.
I am heartened that some people care enough to be the voice of love that negates the devastating effects of the contraceptive culture. I am equally heartened by the fact that these people are planning a conference in the Chicago area next month to proclaim that contraception is not the answer. It may not be practical for you to go to Chicago, but if it is, it's something you might consider. At the very least, check the Pro-Life Action League's web site. The group is sharing some of this valuable information by teleconference. That's one way to relax, listen, have a cup of coffee and reflect on how you can be part of the solution to this tragic problem instead of sitting in the bleachers while life passes you by.
The future is currently attending grade school and high school in your community. How are you going to make sure that this is a bright, zestful, family-oriented future? The first step is to understand ? and then share ? the simple message that contraception is not the answer.
Release issued: 24 Aug 06