Friday, October 30, 2015

Feminism and Fertility

From First Things:
According to the 2010 Vital and Health Statistics, 62 percent of women are on contraceptives. This widespread use is socially reinforced by advertising messages and widely promoted notions of women’s health that denigrate the value of a woman’s fertility. Such messages put a woman “at war with herself,” Franks writes, “Contraception must be the only case in which a person takes a pill solely in order to thwart the natural purpose of a bodily system, all in the name of ‘health.’”

The contraceptive culture is now the status quo, but it doesn’t have to remain this way. In her Essays on Woman, Edith Stein says that a woman’s primary vocation is two-fold: as a spouse and mother. A woman may wear many hats, but her role as a mother retains a special importance. While being made in and for themselves as personal subjects, Mulieris Dignitatem explains that “motherhood is linked to the personal structure of the woman.” Those who are unmarried or infertile can participate in the call of motherhood by developing in themselves an open and loving heart in which others may rest and find peace. (Read more.)

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