The relationship between birth control and the Catholic Church has sparked controversy for decades now and the issue has been more prominent than ever in recent months with the Republican Party’s strong (and arguably very, very mistaken) opinions regarding contraceptives.

As any person raised or educated under the Catholic faith knows, sex is for procreation only and if you engage in intercourse before marriage you have sinned, and off to Confession you should go, because God does not approve of your shenanigans, and you should really learn to control your urges.

As anyone with a brain knows, such a mentality is ludicrous and appalling.

Thus enters the problem of attending a Catholic university. The vast majority of the student body is without a doubt sexually active (or at least wishes they were). That same majority again undoubtedly has zero desire to catch any freaky diseases, let alone see a little plus sign on a pregnancy test. Yet Fairfield University offers no assistance in the practice of safe sex, because we are a Jesuit school, and Jesus apparently does not approve of anyone entertaining their more carnal desires.

It’s ignorant to put a blind eye to the fact that this is a college campus and people like to, for lack of a more proper term, “get it in.” It doesn’t make sense that at every other non-religious affiliated school in America you can walk to your student health center and pick up some condoms, but here you have to go into town if you want to be smart (which you should) and, ahem, “wrap it before you tap it.” Furthermore, the nurse practitioners on campus are also not allowed to prescribe birth control pills to female students, as it would again go against Fairfield’s religious affiliation. That same health center, however, does offer free, confidential STI testing, but can’t supply the most effective way of preventing the spread of those same infections.

Right.

Ironically, the decision to not allow contraceptives to be available on Catholic campuses was made by a group of men who have pledged a lifetime of celibacy and could never in a million years have a child (no disrespect to those in the religious life, of course.). It just seems absurd that the Church is involved with such personal issues. Those men can’t get pregnant; those men will never be in a situation where they could catch an STI, so why do they get to call the shots when it comes to sexual health?

It’s sad, really, that Fairfield University, a school that stresses the nourishment of the whole person–mind, body, and spirit—can’t supply birth control on campus because the Church does not approve of it. This is not a matter of religious doctrine here; it is a matter of health. STIs are staggeringly common among college students, and perhaps if contraceptives were more easily available, that number would be much lower. Beyond that, unplanned pregnancy has never helped anyone obtain a college degree, and it can be assumed that Fairfield University wants all its students to graduate and on time.

No educational institution has any place having any significant involvement in a student’s sex life. But for residents here at Fairfield University, the school does have a responsibility for providing adequate and comprehensive health care for all its students. Honestly, if God wanted people to only have sex for the purpose of procreation and not just for pleasure, then he would not have designed the human body to make sex pleasurable, nor would he have given humans hormones that provoke lustful urges. You can go to a Catholic college and still want to have safe, pre-marital sex. You can have a relationship with God and still want to have safe, pre-marital sex. You can go to church regularly and still want to have safe, premarital sex. The ability to have that safe, pre-marital sex is a human right, not a privilege, something that the Catholic Church and all institutions affiliated with it apparently cannot grasp.

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