Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage-affiliated Ruth Institute says there is not a “war on women” but a “war on women’s fertility” as a result of easily available contraception and women being encouraged to go into the workforce after college rather than getting married and having children:
“We are allowed to participate in a labor market, and in education, as long as we agree to chemically neuter ourselves during our peak child bearing years. When our children are the smallest and most vulnerable, we agree to place them in commercial care, that is if we’re lucky to have any children. And if we’re unable to conceive when we’re finally ready, professionally and financially, we agree to submit our bodies to the trauma of artificial reproductive technology, including the over stimulation of our ovaries,” Morse explained.
Alternatively, Morse described a potential career path designed for a female body this way: “Go to college for a liberal, not a vocational, education. Get married. Have your kids. Let your husband support you. It won’t kill him, or you. Then go back to school, maybe, for an advanced degree after the kids are grown. Go to work. Then help support the kid’s college in your joint retirement. And since we women live longer than men, we can be working longer than they are and let them relax a little bit.”
Morse said she is not opposed to and finds nothing objectionable with women choosing not to have children. She also believes, though, that a pro-woman policy would insist that the education system and labor markets adapt to the needs of women who do not want to delay childbirth.
Morse provided several anecdotes, along with the empirical evidence, demonstrating that society views fertility as a problem to be solved rather than a gift to be embraced.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ recent birth control mandate, requiring employers to provide birth control in their health plans, for instance, referred to birth control as “preventative care.” The implication, Morse said, is that pregnancy is a disease or illness.
“I deeply resent the implication that the normal healthy functioning of my body is considered an illness,” Morse implored. “The mandate itself is offensive and is evidence of a war against women’s fertility.”
Morse also complained that Medicaid, a government health insurance program for the poor, has many anti-fertility policies. Contraception is required, for instance, by program participants and made available to minors without parental consent.
Morse does “not accept that government has an interest in directing the fertility of poor people because there are too many.” Indeed, Morse views the anti-fertility policies as an admission to the moral and fiscal failures of the welfare system.
“Change welfare policies to make them more sustainable and compassionate,” Morse said, and “stop viewing the children of the poor as a problem for policy makers to solve by preventing their existence.”
Morse also appealed to her Christian faith in defense of her position.
The typical secular feminist viewpoint, Morse said, replaced stability in marriage with stability in the workplace, and resents sex differences, “viewing them as some kind of cosmic injustice.”
“Modern secularists insist that love, sex and reproduction be separated from each other for the sake of making men and women equal. But that view places men and women at odds with each other and encourages us to use one another – men using women for sex and women using men as combination sperm banks and wallets,” Morse complained.