An Evangelical Mother's Perspective: "Protect Children, Families, Women and Their Choices"
Op-ed by Patricia Ruiz-Cantu; originally published in the Milwaukee Courier Online
As an Evangelical mother, I believe that children are one the greatest joys and gifts in the world. Whether the children are your own, or part of your extended family or community, children bring life, possibility and witness of God to all of our lives.
It is not enough to just say that children are the future, but that they are also our very present hope. That is why I believe it is our duty to provide the best possible world for our children to grow up into.
For this reason, I believe that parents and would-be parents should have access to all the tools necessary to start and grow a family, responsibly.
Contraception allows members of our community the ability to thoughtfully plan when to start or expand their families. How and when we build our families is not something that the government should ever decide. The decision on how to be a good steward of the gift of life is one that should be left ultimately to the family, but most especially a decision that is ultimately between the mother and her doctor.
Sadly, in Wisconsin and across the country, anti-family extremists and other special interest groups are attacking basic contraception and calling on politicians to restrict and even block its access, making unfounded claims that contraception is the root cause of infidelity and leads women to act in unnatural ways.
They build their argument on an opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who called on the Courts to revoke the 1965 ruling preventing the federal government from restricting access to basic contraception for married couples.
But not on our watch, because in Wisconsin, we believe that politicians should not interfere in a couple’s decision on when they want to have children.
That is why, this summer, a group of Wisconsin Senators and Representatives introduced 2023 Senate Bill 365 The Right to Contraception Act. Building on the bipartisan legacy of the 2023 Assembly Bill 176 that allows pharmacists to both dispense and prescribe contraception, the Right to Contraception Act is a simple bill that prevents politicians and special interests from blocking access to basic contraception approved for the “prevention of pregnancy.”
By enshrining this right in state law, Wisconsin will ensure families decide the best time to get pregnant, and also that the majority of Wisconsin women who depend on contraception medications to treat non-pregnancy related (and sometimes life-threatening) health concerns don’t have those treatments taken away.
Protecting contraception honors the role that women, children, and families play in our society. I pray that the Wisconsin legislature will swiftly pass Senate Bill 365, and uphold this sacred right.
Last year, an alarming count of 195 US House Republicans voted against the 2022 Right to Contraception Act, which aimed to defend access to crucial forms of contraception, including the pill, IUDs, and condoms, from laws restricting individuals from using them.
In Nevada, Governor Lombardo vetoed a bill, sponsored by his own party, that would ensure the right to freely access key contraceptives like condoms, IUDs, and the pill. Over in Georgia, Governor Kemp was recorded discussing potential executive action to impede access to essential contraception, demonstrating a clear disregard for individual freedom.
This growing opposition to contraception is further reinforced by judges seeking a new cultural battlefield in the wake of Roe v. Wade's reversal. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the Supreme Court should negate Griswold v. Connecticut, the case that guaranteed the freedom to use contraception without government intervention.