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Unhappy birthday to the Pill Print
Guest column
Thursday, Jun. 03, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

Guest Column

"The Church can't tell ME how to use my body." Ever hear that?

I can't even count the number of women who have remarked how lucky I am to be a stay-at-home mother. Another thing I can't count is the number of women who say they wish they could afford to have more children.

Time Magazine recently had a piece on the "50th Birthday of the Pill." They cited a Guttmacher Institute study showing a direct line between women having fewer children since the advent of the Pill and greater numbers of women in the work force. The Pill is lauded for giving women the ability to enter into career fulfillment and the choices it provides her. But it has also closed out the choice, to use an ironic term, of another profession.

Think about it. More people suddenly entering the workforce, no longer one, but two parents. And of course people are needed to care for their children meaning even more must be employed. More jobs mean more income and simple economics says that prices on just about everything begin to climb.

More income is able to meet these prices so they can climb higher, right about until a family can only "afford" to have 2.1 children. By now, "affording" a child means providing expensive education, nice vacations, restaurant outings, new clothing, and any other number of things that used to go far and above the basics of the food, shelter, and lots of love needed to help a child grow.

Oh, and taxes are higher because there aren't as many school children and less children means more tax on the community to support schools and other public services.

Suddenly, mom cannot afford another child and she cannot afford to stay home and care for her chosen ones. She has to work to pay for these extras. And maybe she likes it. But she no longer has the choice. Maybe the Pill expanded women's work choices but it also closed the door to stay-at-home motherhood for countless others.

But you don't have to take my word for it. It sounds radical, the Church "telling a woman what to do with her body." But hey, fashion tells us, TV tells us, society's views skewed by pornography's hold on culture tell us. Why NOT an organization committed to the uplifting of women, the Catholic Church? They have been right all along.

Monica Simpson is a member of Cathedral of St. Raphael Parish, Madison.