03/11/12 — No war: It's not about birth control. It is about the right questions.

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No war: It's not about birth control. It is about the right questions.

There is a new game going on in the race for the presidency -- and American women are the intended target.

But it is not a war against women. That is a distraction used to keep the discussion from heading in the right direction.

This debate about birth control is not about limiting access to it. In fact, let's be honest, there is more inexpensive or free birth control in this country than anyone could ever need -- and it is often not used by the people who most need to use it.

This argument is about freedom. It is about a Catholic hospital's right to say: 'We do not believe in birth control. So, we are not going to fund it in our health care plan. If you want it, feel free, we are not telling you what to do in your own life, but we are not going to pay for it."

If that position offends your sensibilities, you should not work for that organization.

And that's the bottom line.

The problem in this country today is that people are often ready to pounce -- especially when politics is involved. They skew meaning, obfuscate reality and create phrases like "The Republican War on Women."

And it does nobody any good.

In this case, the argument was made more ridiculous by Rush Limbaugh's crude reference to a Georgetown student -- an activist, by the way -- who testified about birth control access.

His offensive comparison is one of the reasons this discussion disintegrated and we are talking about a "war on women" that does not exist.

And once again, instead of addressing what the real issue is, we are mired in name-calling -- and the real discussion that we need to have is overshadowed by the grandstanding politicians with an agenda that is really not about women's health at all.

Now, that said, there is a crusade going on -- and it should be joined by anyone who truly cares about the future of this nation and its women and children.

There are too many times when a baby is born to parents who have no business having another child and who are not doing their job of protecting and nurturing the ones they have. There are also too many children having children.

That is where the real battle should be.

What we should unite to fight is the seeming disregard for the honor that it is to be a parent, the cavalier view some people take of the responsibility and the children who are suffering because of that attitude.

There will always be differences of opinion on social issues. That is a fact. But destructive rhetoric from either side accomplishes nothing.

It is our job to make sure we do not follow the detour.

Published in Editorials on March 11, 2012 12:29 AM