Feminists this month are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. This wonderful invention, they gush, gloriously separated sexually active women from motherhood – with or without their partner’s consent.
“Nearly 100-percent effective,” writes a professor at the University of Minnesota, “the pill allowed women to enjoy sex freed from the fear of pregnancy.” Huh, I thought pregnancy and childbirth fulfilled one of women’s deepest longings, not fears. But, I suppose once you disconnect sex from a committed relationship, fear replaces the joy that naturally accompanies conception. And, this initial relational disconnection starts a domino effect causing further unnatural and painful separations.
Barbara Katz Rothman in her 1989 book, “Recreating Motherhood,” noted this phenomenon. “It is the separations that capture my attention,” she wrote, “the separation of women from motherhood, of pregnancy from birth, of sexuality from reproduction, and of fetuses from mothers.”
Since the introduction of contraception and abortion, the cherished new lives and secure relationships God created sexuality to produce have been decimated. All these separations weaken the family and damage individuals. But, since God uniquely gifted women to nurture and strengthen these bonds, rejecting these connections undermines the very nature and contribution of women. It is misogyny in its most pernicious form.
God made us women to be mothers and to serve as connectors within a family unit. Not every woman gets the privilege of serving this purpose, but our very anatomy shows God designed us for this fundamental role. As pro-life author Juli Loesch Wiley writes, a man may be tempted to believe his body is for his own use. But, “a woman’s body has all these nooks and crannies, which are of no use to (her), but evidently (were) put there for someone else.” Our wombs, for example, serve only our children, as do mammary glands. Interconnectedness, she concludes, is not just a concept. “It’s built into us.”
Similarly, researchers have discovered that whenever a woman breast feeds, oxytocin is released in her brain, bonding her to her infant. A similar chemical bond occurs whenever a woman has intimate contact with a man. This bond is so strong, doctors say it can’t be undone without causing great emotional pain.
God built interconnectedness into us women because this quality is key to understanding the godhead. We are made in God’s image. And, God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – exists in an interconnected multi-personed community. God gave women this special ability to bond to unite families and to reflect this deep spiritual reality. Separating sex from marriage, reproduction, child-birth, and mothering violates this God-given design and function of women. It degrades our value and purpose.
So, this Sunday, let’s celebrate mothers not merely with a brunch or flowers. Let’s honor and foster the bonds God designed women to strengthen.