A point has been reached in the United States where choices are being made concerning the personal health of citizens without their control. In a recent article in The New York Times, Gail Collins discusses the newest trend in Republican candidates running for office: pro-contraception. “Passion for the Pill” highlights the recent and mysterious switch of opinion in the Republican Party. Are these political figures indeed convinced that contraception should be offered without a prescription? Or are they simply stating lies in order to obtain a higher percentage of approval rating and more votes? Though their ideals are changing to coincide with those of liberals, conservative ideology still holds. Republicans are in a position that they normally don’t fall into: the middle.
Bewildered and confused Republicans have declared their opinion based more on popular belief rather than on their knowledge and passion for contraceptives. Mike Coffman, Republican House member, recently stated, “I support a woman’s access to… to, uh… [Audience member shouted: “Birth control!”] Birth control!” Underqualified members of the United States government are making choices about important issues that they know nothing about. Had Coffman been prepared and educated on current events, he would have been able to have a more personal stance on the debate instead of moving along with his peers. Coffman previously stated that he was pro-life. Republicans are trying to smooth out the battle against their opposing Democrats. This brings to question whether the gap in ideology between the left and the right is getting smaller.
My own view is that Republicans are purely acting like sheep, following the latest trends the same way a fashion guru would. Popular opinion said contraception was a bad thing. Republicans agreed. Popular opinion says women should have the right to prescription-less, cheap, and easy contraceptives. Republicans agree. A new playing field has been created where “Republicans in close elections suddenly turn into cheerleaders for over-the-counter birth control pills.” The conservative party is just swaying where the wind blows and more importantly, where they will get the most votes. Now a position of power in the government appears to be more important than the actual ideas of said person. Positions of power appear to be more important than the power itself because the race to the top is much more strenuous than staying at the top. Government members will make empty promises until the cows come home in campaigns and then neglect to follow through with their offers.
Is it moral to allow the debate on contraceptives sway towards the Democratic belief of pro-contraceptive, even when the usual opponent might be faking its support? In my opinion, it is. Republicans’ shifting ideology might simply be nonsense only said to receive higher approval ratings and not actually make change. Women should have the right to control their bodies though easily accessible contraceptives. Ideally, women in government would have a larger and stronger role to push legislation on this issue. However, in this day and age, that just isn’t happening. So while such choices are generally made by men, the choices are finally reflecting the rights of women. One can hope that this marks the beginning of an age when women are simply given the rights they deserve.