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Is Birth Control As Justified As We All Believe It To Be - Essay Example

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One of the issues which face all married couples is that of having children. In today’s times having children is a matter of decision rather than a factor beyond control as it used to be seen in the days past. This is because birth control is a socially accepted and scientifically advanced phenomenon…
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Is Birth Control As Justified As We All Believe It To Be
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Running head: IS BIRTH CONTROL JUSTIFIED Is Birth Control As Justified As We All Believe It To Be Arpit Waghmare Academia

One of the issues which face all married couples is that of having children. In today's times having children is a matter of decision rather than a factor beyond control as it used to be seen in the days past. This is because birth control is a socially accepted and scientifically advanced phenomenon. There are several reasons why birth control is seen favourably in the administration as well as by individuals. Population control, nuclear families, individual freedom and civil liberties, financial considerations, health considerations, personal preferences, aptitude for child rearing, ability to parent fewer children well, circumstances, convenience, and love or dislike of children among many others.
On the macro level the results of birth control are beginning to cause concern in the West
The birth rate per woman in Europe has dropped from 2.16 children each to 1.38 today.
Higher life expectancy and fewer births have caused a situation where the ratio of working people to pensioners will plummet from the current 5:1 to almost half of that by 2050 (Ageing Population, 2003). This will strain pension funds, necessitate the increasing of retiring age forcing the elderly to work and also strain healthcare expenditure. China with its one child policy is facing an impending sociological disaster. Catherine Bennet (2004) writes:
"Soon after China implemented its one-child policy in 1979, reports reached the west of a new breed of plump, pampered creatures who had never learned to share. As these children have grown older, they have not, according to many bulletins, grown nicer. They are said to be in love with consumer durables and so obese, due to routine parental overfeeding, that they require regular sessions in fat farms.
A study by the Indian Express finds: "over 60% of young people who grew up without siblings said they felt lonely and miserable in childhood." ("Of Child!", 2005)
India on the other hand seems to be reaping the unexpected benefits of lack of birth control. The country finds itself with riches in human resource. C.P Chandrasekhar (2006) writes in Frontline:
A third of India's population was below 15 years of age in 2000. In 2020, the average Indian will be only 29 years old, compared with 37 in China and the United States, 45 in Western Europe, and 48 in Japan. The demographic process this implies would create a large and growing labour force, which is expected to deliver unexpected spin-offs in terms of growth and prosperity.

Going beyond the macro issues let get to the micro ones. There was a tearful story in the National Catholic Reporter about how the church was ignoring the cause of birth control in spite of sad stories about parents struggling to care for 6 to 12 children. (Crowley,1993) The assumption seems to be that more children cause more grief. While this may not necessarily be unfounded in certain cases, it cannot be conclusively said that the sole cause of grief is the number of children. Financial strife can come to anyone irrespective of the number of children they have. Same goes for health issues and other common reasons given for birth control. For all the horrors that are supposed to accompany more children the previous generation I see which routinely had more than 5 or 6 children per home seems to have had no great disadvantage as compared to smaller houses solely on this count. I see more parents taking pride in their flock of kids rather than grief unless of course they brought them up poorly. Here's what a mother of 11 children has to say:
No one can deny that when the children are young and numerous that the intensive supervision they require makes it difficult to project beyond the moment. But there is, incontrovertibly, an exalted light at the end of the tunnel, when at long last, and despite our parenting mistakes, we find ourselves surrounded by upstanding mature human beings who represent the proud and amazing products of our many years of blood, sweat, and tears (Twerski).
Siblings in bigger families having greater emotional stability. I rarely see mothers any worse for health just because they had more children. If they did it is because of negligence - something that can happen even with a single child. As far as preference for children goes - most never know they could possibly be so smitten by their children until they actually get them.
As far as the position of the church goes let us consider a scripture that should give us food for thought: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb....All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Psa 139:14-16 (NIV) If the church has to stand by this scripture which it considers the infallible Word of God how can it take the position alongside that children could be unplanned accidents when the above verses clearly describe every human being as 'knit together' by God
Perhaps we have given undue importance to birth control and family planning. The obsession with material wealth or convenience seems to have robbed us of the value of the intangibles. Perhaps we could begin to explore the possibility that birth control is robbing us of more than we are gaining as individuals and as a society. I am convinced that if we look for solutions for our problems outside birth control we will find them.

Ageing Population (2003). Health and Future, Retrieved Mar 21, 2006 from
Bennet, Catherine (2004, Nov 9). Home Alone, The Guardian, Retrieved Mar 21, 2006 from Guardian
Chandrasekhar, C.P.(2006, Jan 14). Does demography favour India Frontline, Volume 23 - Issue 01,
Retrieved Mar 21, 2006 from
Crowley, Patty (1993, Dec 17). Confessions of a birth control commission. National Catholic
Reporter. Retrieved on Mar 22, 2006 from
Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). International Bible Society.
McHugh, James T (1997, Oct 31). Overpopulation and what to do about it. National Catholic Reporter,
Retrieved Mar 23, 2006 from
Twerski, Rebbetzin (n.d). Joys of a large family. Foundation For Large Families. Retrieved Mar 23, 2006
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