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Is there ever a responsibility to use contraception?
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Effect on women's lives

We have a responsibility to provide contraception to women so they can enjoy sexual activity on the same basis as men, whilst still having the autonomy to decide whether they want to become pregnant or not. Without providing women with contraception, it is sexual discrimination.
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The Argument

With some exceptions, pregnancy typically changes the life of the mother more than the father. Mothers need to carry the baby for nine months, and, typically, are the ones who stay at home during most of the day to raise the child, particularly in the early years of the infant’s life. Both of these stages of motherhood may result in the mother having to stay at home more than she needed to before, and to quit her job, or work part-time. Therefore, we have a responsibility to ensure that contraception is provided to couples so society is promoting gender equality and the autonomy of women. Women should have the right to choose or avoid becoming pregnant, and any restriction on access to contraception is sexual discrimination. It also enables women whose health would be at risk if they conceived, to continue having sex.[1] We must provide contraception because it enables women to enjoy sexual activity on the same basis as men otherwise, women may find themselves having regular pregnancies. This leads to women remaining economically dependent on their partners, risking their financial autonomy to provide for themselves. Furthermore, this leads to problems if the father of the child is not on the scene to help raise the child. As studies show that 40% of women quit their jobs post-maternity to become mothers, we should acknowledge the restrictions on many women's individual financial capability when they enter motherhood.[2]Therefore, we have a responsibility to provide contraception so that women are provided with the autonomy to make this decision.

Counter arguments

Women are made to be mothers. The purpose of sex must be for reproduction, so when a woman engages in sexual activity, she must not allow any contraceptive method to interfere with the eventual goal of creating a baby.[3] This life-giving purpose that women have been gifted with is a fundamentally good thing. Therefore, women who intend for their partners, or themselves, to use contraception are engaged in an intentionally ‘anti-life’ act as they want to prevent a new life coming into being.[4] They, therefore, have a bad intention that goes against their natural purpose of becoming mothers, and it is always wrong for a woman to push away her natural maternal instincts and purpose.


[P1] Women's lives change dramatically after entering motherhood. [P2] Therefore, women should be able to decide when they want to get pregnant, and use contraception if they do not want to. [P3] Without contraception, women cannot enjoy sex on the same basis as men, and will have regular pregnancies as a result, which causes financial issues. [P4] Therefore, without access to contraception, it is sexual discrimination towards women.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P4] Women are made to be mothers. Therefore, contraception interferes with women's natural purpose.


This page was last edited on Monday, 10 Aug 2020 at 00:15 UTC

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