David Mayeda, at The Grumpy Sociologist, posted a 12-minute video on the debate over state-provided birth control in The Philippines. The Philippines is a largely Catholic society. Accordingly, it’s a good example of the way that individual lives are shaped by state policy, policy that is often influenced by powerful institutions.

And — lest we condemn The Philippines as particularly problematic in this area — let’s not forget the many ways in which religion has influenced family planning in the U.S.: “abstinence only” sex education, the increasing rarity of abortion services, the “conscience clause” that allows pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control, and many more examples…

For more examples of pro- and anti-natal policy and ideology, see our posts on Hitler’s “mother’s cross”, sterilizing poor women, God’s stimulus package, Spanish vs. English versions of a pamphlet for new moms, abortion as racial genocide, and pro-natal Prop. 8.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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