Depending on one’s vantage point, birth control represents an important galvanizing issue around women’s rights - or a galvanizing issue around religious freedom.
Progressives typically prefer other words like contraception, since birth control includes abortion (while contraception does not). The choice of words can be loaded, since one emphasizes preventing conception, while the other emphasizes ending a pregnancy.
The word birth control has also been used by individuals concerned with overpopulation. That association leads some to avoid the term out of concern that efforts to reduce population deny women agency and choice.
Debates about contraception center primarily on whether it is an abortifacient or not - with pro-life advocates viewing a larger set of measures as the latter and thus objectionable.
Whether or not religious institutions should have the right to not provide contraception or birth control as a part of federally-mandated health care has become a recent point of contention.
QUESTIONS TO PLAY WITH:
- How do you see the relationship/interaction among contraception, birth control and abortion?
- Is birth control a largely positive or negative thing to you – or neutral?
- Some believe birth control is to blame for many changes in American culture’s habits in relation to sex. Do you agree?