Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tara Culp-Ressler on Francis's Breeding Bunnies Quip: "Reinforces the Status Quo — Even Though It's One That Isn't Working Well for Catholics Around the World"

Tara Culp-Ressler on the problem with Pope Francis's breeding bunnies remark:

Placing the responsibility on Catholics to avoid procreating "like rabbits," while reiterating the Catholic Church's opposition to a range of artificial birth control methods that are much more effective than NFP for many women, ultimately reinforces the status quo — even though it's one that isn't working well for Catholics around the world. 
That conflict is on sharp display in the Philippines, the country where Pope Francis recently spent five days. There, the birth rate has skyrocketed, partially thanks to the Catholic hierarchy's fierce opposition to hormonal contraception and dogged promotion of NFP. Women have recently started demanding access to long-lasting birth control like IUDs. And lay Catholics have increasingly bucked the Church leadership to join those calls, advocating for greater access to birth control as a way of alleviating poverty.

And as she reminds her readers, at the very same time that the pope holds the line on contraception,  

A recent global poll of self-identified Catholics found that the vast majority of them disagree with the Church’s prohibition against hormonal birth control. Seventy eight percent of Catholics across all countries surveyed said they support the use of modern birth control — a number that rises even further in European and Latin American countries, where Catholics tend to be more progressive. More than 90 percent of Catholics in France, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, and Colombia have no problem with artificial contraception.

One obvious conclusion to draw from the praise some (heterosexual, male, married) Catholic journalists are heaping on the pope's recent "breakthrough" remarks about birth control: the status quo works better for some of us than it does for others. The status quo works better for those who invented it than for everyone else in the world.

It serves the interest of males far more than of females, of straight folks rather than gay ones, of affluent people but not poor people, of whites over blacks. It's easy to find the status quo benign and bearable as long as it works for me.

When it doesn't for many people for whom it's a nightmare.

The photo of Tara Culp-Ressler is from her Think Progress biographical page.

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