Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Obamacare, Contraception, and Ayn Rand
It will be little comfort to the advocates of state-mandated “free” contraception that Ayn Rand, who would have abhorred Obamacare and all its mandates, was as staunch an advocate of birth control and women’s right to abortion as one can imagine. Writing about the anti-contraception papal encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” Rand wrote in “Of Living Death” (1968):
Try to hold an image of horror spread across space and time—across the entire globe and through all the centuries—the image of parents chained, like beasts of burden, to the physical needs of a growing brood of children—young parents aging prematurely while fighting a losing battle against starvation—the skeletal hordes of unwanted children born without a chance to live—the unwed mothers slaughtered in the unsanitary dens of incompetent abortionists—the silent terror hanging, for every couple, over every moment of love. If one holds this image while hearing that this nightmare is not to be stopped, the first question one will ask is: Why? . . .
The passive obedience and helpless surrender to the physical functions of one’s body, the necessity to let procreation be the inevitable result of the sexual act, is the natural fate of animals, not of men. In spite of its concern with man’s higher aspirations, with his soul, and with the sanctity of married love—it is to the level of animals that the encyclical seeks to reduce man’s sex life, in fact, in reality, on earth.