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Protecting the right to choose

Evan Graham | Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The recent issue of the availability of contraceptives on Notre Dame’s campus has sparked much controversy. A letter from the officers of Notre Dame’s Right to Life Club (Feb. 1) states that artificial contraception is “neither a ‘right’ nor health care.” I would like to respectively disagree.

The choice of whether or not to use prescriptive contraceptives is a choice involving a woman’s body and subsequently her health. The act of procreation involves carrying a baby that is taxing on both the physical health of the woman and on the emotional health of both the man and the woman. It is a difficult decision to make that certainly concerns multiple aspects of the parents’ health.

The officers’ letter also quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2399) stating, “Without the [unitive and procreative] aspects the sexual act is stripped of its meaning, and man and woman fail to give themselves to each other in complete love.” The decision whether or not to have children involves many factors in a person’s life, such as finances, the woman’s job and the current health of both parents.

The decision to hold off on having children or to not have children at all does not diminish the love between two people. The love expressed through intercourse is defined by much more than the possibility of procreation.

I realize that not everyone has these same opinions and that it is their right to form their own opinions, but it is also their right to be able to take prescriptive contraceptives if they so desire. The University’s denial of coverage of these prescriptions in their health insurance strips this right away from many women whose thoughts differ from that of the Catholic Church. I am happy that the right to choose has come full-force to Notre Dame in terms of reproductive services.

Evan Graham


Carroll Hall

Feb. 1