Women’s Reproductive Rights and How it Pertains to Religion

All forms of religion in the world can agree that the centers of their worship demand that the followers should passionately pursue justice embedded in the belief that the law should be an instrument of justice. This single-mindedness has, however, been obscured by particular theological controversies especially those dealing with restrictions on what is legal and what is not. One of the most hotly contested issues is one regarding women’s healthcare (Olson, 2012).  Almost all religions attribute a low status to women and issues affecting them. This ‘devaluation’ often leads to denial of rights, and many of the decisions regarding the women are made for them (Cook, 2004). As a result, the law and theology are often at loggerheads, as the law seeks to give equal rights to women and the freedom to make choices that pertain their bodies(Kilner, 2012). Theology, on the other hand, has its own set of regulations that the women should follow without question.

Some of the laws created to influence the women’s healthcare include the contraception mandate that requires employers to provide free coverage for contraceptive services for their employees(Solanke et al., 2015). This law has always found opposition from employers who argue against it on religious grounds (Kelly, Magill &Have, 2013). Abortion laws have also been a highly contested issue since the 1960s when states began coming up with legislation to support abortion. Faith-based organizations have opposed this decision(Cron, 2013). In many of these laws, the states have a different opinion and theology has a different opinion too, rarely are women given a chance to express their thoughts and opinions.

In the clash between the law and religion, it feels like the rights of women and their ability to make their own decisions have been violated (Ashley & O’Rourke, 2006). It results in lack of information about their healthcare options or their inability to access the health care services themselves. However, the religion and legislation should work together to enhance the health of the women and the society.

Withal, the current state of women’s reproductive is viewed in different perspective the United State. The previous paragraph has alluded that abortion is one aspect which has raised controversy between religion and the law of land. The Supreme Court in the U.S declared abortion as fundamental right of the individual (Ashley et al., 2006).

According to their ruling, government had no intrusion right to deal with personal decisions. In one instance, a section of the people in the country have embraced the move towards freedom of activities they engage in. until recently, medical bodies have raised against the act terming it unhealthy (Cook, 2004). The increased rates of pregnancy termination has enumerable number of repercussions to women, who were considered vulnerable groups in the country. Further, the government realized the population was declining and replaced by immigrants from other countries. Amidst myriad of confusion regarding abortion rights, religion has taken center stage in solving and mitigating proliferation of the immoral acts (Cron, 2013).

Christians as well as Muslims do not encourage abortion and the both religions regard the act as a sin. Christians are guided by the laws documented in the Bible, which discourages any form of killing (Kelly et al., 2013). Consequently, more understanding started creeping into the society due to awareness of negative implications. Contribution of religious studies in this country has changed a lot regarding abortion cases, which were prevalent due to legal judgment upholding the act. It is important to note that people’s sanity is guided by the laws of the land. If they are not regulated by implicating staunch laws, they utilize their freedom to maxim (Kilner, 2012).  Religious doctrines have helped in controlling certain immoral behaviors in the country.

Healthcare and medicine have been part of the church in the current generation. The two are inseparable irrespective of some criticism from other spectators in the country (Ashley et al., 2006). Health services are witnessed in the mission field where people need some medication to heal some infections the church diligently advocate for proper medication to all people without biasness. The central point of disparity is inequality which is witnessed (Olson, 2012). This is whereby the rich are able to access quality medications while the poor are implicated to poorly equipped facilities, without enough medicine.

 The church has been championing for equity, which would foster harmonization in service delivery. For example, Obama care has received much appreciation from the citizens in the United State. The program aims to provide public health insurance, which is affordable to the poor people (Solanke et al., 2015). 

The well off in the society have complained of the program since it is designed to help the poor from the high income earner.  Theological aspect of this move signifies the importance of brotherhood. Biblical assertion concerning the same issue is well illustrated and praised. Any religion extort the act of being your brother’s keeper. Cheaper health insurance programs is an indication of an understanding of valuing other human beings (Ashley et al., 2006). Initially, the poor were negated and sidelined in attending quality health care facilities. With the initialization of Obama care, it is now possible to be treated in any private or public hospital.

Religious adherent to use of contraceptives vary.  There is a wide believe concerning birth control in various religions which differ in particular aspects. Also, the same group of believers disagree on the issue based on different branches. The believe of one member might differ with the faith of the espoused leader creating a confusion (Cook, 2004). Many people grapple with ethical dilemma of what they should stand for.  Among the Christians, we find that Roman Catholic have a strong stance against use of any chemical product to control birth.

According to their argument, they eliminate any artificial form that can replace the God’s role (Cron, 2013). They affirm that children’s are given by God, and no human intervention is required to change the plan. This is the faith which is upheld up to date, with evidences supporting their arguments. On their side, natural abstinence should be the only way to control birth. However, among the believers, some disagree with that faith. Protestants on the other hand encourages the use of contraceptives (Kelly et al., 2013). There exist no laws in their faith which impede them from using. Moreover Islam religion does not make explicit statement concerning the use of contraceptives. They recognize procreation hence causing mixed reaction within the same religion.

Knowledge on the use of contraceptive is a strong indicator of people’s faith. It is assumed that individuals follow what their religion stipulate. Although defiant cases might arise, the highest population follows what they believe in. the data suggest that 89% Roma catholic women use contraceptive while the Protestants stand at 90 %( Nnaemeka, 2015). These figures clearly indicate what the population comprise. Christianity is the dominant religion in this nation, with most of them defying their doctrinal rules. For example, Roman Catholic does not allow any form of artificial control of birth. Subsequently, we can see that 90% of the women in this denomination actually use them (Nnaemeka, 2015). It is clear that some traditional believe are eroding with time. Traditional Roman believers strictly followed the direction of the church. There was complete abstinence and no control of birth. However, lifestyle changes have made things different (Ashaley et al., 2006). Theologians do not agree with total elimination of contraceptives from the church. In their belief, contraceptives are viewed just like any other medicine. It is allowable to use these medicines only with good intention.

There is no Biblical support which warns the believers from using contraceptives (Cook, 2004).  Believers should be give space to make decisions for themselves without pressure from religious ties. Healthcare control has raised eyebrows in the united State with government, and various religions staging discrepancies concerning ethicality of the entire process. Effort of the church to be included in preface stages of making policies are polarized (Cron, 2013). The legislature objectively alienate the church from their transactions, by failing to incorporate their thoughts while designing policies which safeguard women in the society.

Furthermore, the church teaches about sterilization and affirms its stand that it is only acceptable if the act is done for therapeutic reasons. Sterilization is defined as altering with an organ which is diseased or intentionally stop its functioning (Kilner, 2012). Christians believe that human being is made in the image and likeness of God. Likewise, they unanimously believe that our bodies belong to Him.

They have faith that anything that is done on their bodies should be legitimate and more (Cook, 2004). The church believes that intentional sterilization degrades our bodily dignity and is a punishable sin. Therefore, the believers demonize any act that makes the woman unfertile be deliberate removal of uterus. This is an act of irresponsibility based on the faith of a Christian. Sterilization laws are enforced by the United State government. The law provide space for the individual to undergo voluntary or forced sterilization, which conflict with the believers (Kelly et al., 2013). The program varies with intent and purpose. According to the state laws, one can be subjected to mandatory sterilization to prevent further reproduction (eugenic). This is the strategy to reduce further ballooning of the population (Kilner, 2012). Moreover, it can be done to discriminate sex.

This normally happens especially when it’s a punishment for immoral act such as rape case. Other are done for punitive actions and with bad intention against a certain ethnic group. The country uphold the sterilization laws and procedure to current data (Olson, 2012). This is viewed by theologian scholars as ungodly and deserves extinction from the society. They argue that other forms of controlling birth can be embraced instead of combating malfunction of body organ intentionally. They also agree with the assertion made by Catholic Romans that the procedure should only be performed for therapeutic purposes.

Study conducted by Olson (2012) affirmed that the highest number of young women in the united State are resorting to sterilization to suit their activities. Some are opting for ovary removal to prevent the chances of getting pregnant. The situation is not ethical and moves away from the ordained nature of human being. Unintended pregnancies are expensive for the patient and family members (Solanke et al., 2015). It is recorded that most couples in the United State go for this procedure due to expense that comes along with newborn. They cite medical, caring and professional goals cost as major antecedents leading to settling for this option. Given technological advancement in medical field, surgical sterilization is becoming more safe and efficient.

This has dispelled fear from women who fear the cost of bringing up the child. It is estimated that 36% of pregnancies were terminated using this method in the year 2015(Cook, 2004). The church has been in the forefront disregarding the negative implication that technology has brought in the society. Research conducted by Cook (2004) reveals that young women are seeking more sterilization procedures due to efficiency and safety of the same. Medical practioners have failed on their profession since they can perform the operation with the consent of patient irrespective of the condition. This volatility is harming the society both morally and physically. Historians acknowledge the fact can impact sterilization process. Religious believers who participate in it represent conflict within the members since the act is viewed secular (Cron, 2013).

Conjointly,other family planning policies receive different reactions from various stakeholders. For example, sex education is regarded critical for young teenagers. It is one of the platform which can be used to educate young girls on their role the society and areas which can expose then to risks of contracting diseases (Ashley et al., 2006). In 22 states of Columbia, the school curriculum has incorporated sex education for early awareness. Moreover, access to infertility treatment is prohibited by expensive services in the United State hospitals. Poor citizens might find it hard to acquire better and quality services from the experts due to financial incapacitation. This is the move the government has taken in responding to infertility in women as well as sex education (Cron, 2013).

Various religious faiths believe that infertility should be addressed from the supremacy they associate themselves with. They have not indicated their demarcation beyond which someone should seek medication. Infertility is not well appreciated in the society. People go ahead and sideline infertile women. They are sometimes not involved in social gathering due to ridicule from the peers which causes emotional distress. Christianity for example, allows treatment in case of infertility (Kilner, 2012). However, the treatment options given the government are expensive to access. It is argued that reproductive health of the women has not been well addressed.

Reproductive rights are important for a woman’s socioeconomic being and overall health. It has been identified that ability to make parenthood timing increases satisfaction and emotional strength. In recent years, laws concerning women reproductive health have substantially changed. For example, Affordable Care act which increased accessibility of contraceptive methods and counselling services.

The move enabled the country to expand it medical care services. However, legal limitations to reproductive rights are becoming evident making it difficult for the respondents to access the necessary health services. It is high time the United State government realize the place of women in the society by coming up with policies which cater for their reproductive health fully. Additionally, religious faith should not be encouraged to impede a good course of action. Integration of political class and religion can work corporately to find amicable solution in reproductive health.

References

Ashley, B. M., De, B. J., & O’Rourke, K. D. (2006). Health care ethics: A Catholic theological analysis. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.

Cook, R.(2004). Women’s Health and Human Rights: The Promotion and Protection of Women’s Health through International Human Rights Law. World Health Organization.

Cron, H. W. (2013). A Biblical Response to the Healthcare Debate. California State University. Charlotte, North Calorina.

Kelly, D. F., Magill, G., & Have, H. (2013). Contemporary Catholic health care ethics. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Kilner, J. F. (2012). The Bible, Ethics and Healthcare: Theological Foundations for a Christian Perspective on Healthcare. Wheaton College.

Nnaemeka, A., &Nkechi N, A. (2015). Violence against Women: Impact on Women Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Womens Health, Issues and Care, 04(06).

Olson, R. P. M. (2012). Moral arguments for universal health care: A vision for health care reform. Bloomington: Authorhouse.

Solanke, B., Oladosu, O., Akinlo, A. &Olanisebe, S. (2015). Religion as a Social Determinant of Maternal Healthcare Service Utilization in Nigeria. Africa Population Studies 29(2).Bottom of Form

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