Birth control, also known ascontraception, is how an individual controls their fertility by preventing apregnancy before it can occur. There are many different forms of contraceptivessuch as the contraceptive pill, this contains hormones that suppressesovulation in the female; barrier methods, the most common being the condom;intrauterine devices, a coil that prevents the fertilized egg from implantinginto the uterus; and male or female sterilization.1 There is muchdebate surrounding the utilization of contraceptives as it brings up the topicof whether humans should be able to control their pregnancy or let it happen naturally.Some argue that contraceptives are unnatural, that they can carry health risks,and are a form of abortion. Others would argue that the use ofcontraceptives is an ethical way to prevent pregnancy, improve the status ofwomen’s health, and is overall a women’s right to choose. Arguments in supportof contraception far outweigh any of the arguments in opposition.The current debate aboutcontraceptives identifies an interesting viewpoint on the prevention ofpregnancy.
There are a number of motivations an individual may have when usingsome form of contraception; this could range from a woman who cannot carry apregnancy, couples who do not want to pass on birth defects, or those who arenot ready to have a child in general. According to the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention (CDC), unintended pregnancy primarily results from notusing contraception and is associated with an increased risk of problems forthe mother and baby.2 A woman going through an unforeseen pregnancy canbe placed under physical and psychological duress, which can lead to the mothernot being in optimal health for childbirth and can cause postpartum depression.2Pregnancies that are also spaced closely together can cause a baby tohave a low birth weight and an increased risk of death within the first year.2The use of contraceptives may be deemed immoral to some but according toact utilitarianism, an ethical theory, the use of contraceptives benefits themother and child by reducing the number of risk factors that can occur from anunplanned pregnancy. Contraception is justified because the end result producedthe greatest amount of good for those in majority within a pregnancy. Contraceptionis thus critical as it not only protects the mother and baby from unnecessaryrisks, but gives control to the mother as to when she is personally ready tohave a baby.
Another line of thought on whypregnancy should be prevented through contraceptives is demonstrated throughthose who are not financially stable and teen pregnancy. In 2011, there were6.1 million pregnancies in the United States with 2.8 million of them beingunintended, the highest rates were among women with a lower income, thosebetween the ages of 18 and 24, and women of minority.3 Contraceptionis vital for families who are not in a position financially to have a baby.This can have an affect on a family’s well-being and push a family further intofinancial difficulties. Women have to be prepared to take leave from work, payfor insurance, child support, and all the necessary supplies such as bottles anddiapers.
Someone who is not ready to bring a child into society should have thedecision to use contraception Building off the idea of theprevention of pregnancy, contraceptives are closely linked to improving thehealth status of women. Contraceptives have many benefits besides theprevention of pregnancy. Contraceptives can aide in endometriosis, polycysticsyndrome, severe cramping, and premenstrual syndrome.
However,another angle on this debate suggests that pregnancy should happen naturallywithout the interference of contraceptives. Opponents argue that birth control hinderswith God’s natural order by preventing the conception of more valuable humanbeings in his creation. It is understandable that within one’s own religion contraceptionmay or may not be permitted, but in no way should religion be factored intosocietal regulations for everyone. According to Cultural relativism, someone’sviews, beliefs, and customs are relative to an individual within their ownsocial context. Meaning the truth is variable and not absolute. Not everyonebelieves in God or even the same God, and to base an ethical decision off ofone’s own views and beliefs is ethnocentric.
In conclusion, the discussion of theprevention of pregnancy and the status of women’s health addresses thesignificance and importance of contraceptives. Contraceptives are thus criticalfor a woman