Friday, February 22, 2013

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma. Who Is Dr. Dominic Pedulla?

In Oklahoma, fascinating political stuff about contraception:

Under State Sen. Clark Jolley (R)’s measure, “no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees.” According to the Tulsa World, Jolley’s inspiration for his bill came from one of his male constituents who is morally opposed to birth control, and wanted to find a small group insurance plan for himself and his family that didn’t include coverage for those services:
Jolley said the measure is the result of a request from a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, an Oklahoma City cardiologist who describes himself as a natural family planning medical consultant and women’s health researcher. [...]
Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.
“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” Pedulla said. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”
The bill has already cleared a Senate Health committee and now makes it way to Oklahoma’s full Senate. It is unlikely that either Jolley and Pedulla themselves rely on insurance coverage for hormonal contraceptive services — but if the measure becomes law, the two men could limit the health insurance options for the nearly two million women who live in Oklahoma.
 The bolds are in the original.

All this made me most eager to meet Dr. Dominic Pedulla.  If he is the same doctor Pedulla I've found on the Google, he is the founder of the Edith Stein Foundation. 

Who was Edith Stein and what does she have to do with this foundation?

As a brilliant feminist scholar she was able to challenge certain assumptions of the day, arguing for greater involvement of women in the liturgical life of the Church, in the professions, and in the workplace. She was an intellectual leader of the fledgling women’s movement in Germany after World War I. It is a remarkable tribute to her persona that she was able to harmonize these feminist aspirations with her abiding belief that at the deepest core of woman’s personality one will find receptivity and motherhood. Not a ”barefoot and pregnant” reductionist view of motherhood, the kind which sees woman as a passive prisoner of her biology, and slave to her tyrant fertility. Rather, she saw receptivity and motherliness as woman’s unique power, a power capable of transforming a home, workplace, professional environment, country, or society in ways that men cannot.
One of the prescient original insights was derived from her exegesis of the Genesis biblical narratives as well as from her intuitive analysis of the lived experience of woman. This insight was that procreation would always be a more consuming and psychologically preoccupying concern for the woman. This prophetic analysis anticipated the work of later experts of the psychology of woman, who recognized the procreation and childbearing can be anxiety-provoking challenges to integration in a woman’s life.

We think that if Edith Stein were alive today she would be a zealous promoter of fertility consciousness and appreciation, and would see this issue as an existential core feminist issue. She would see this alternative as the only authentic and empowering way of satisfying modern woman’s fertility-control needs in a way that fulfills also the deepest needs of her person. She would also see contraception and sterilization as a deeply traumatizing form of rejection of woman’s core self. She would see them as debilitating compromises with fear and therefore contrary to reproductive freedom. She would not view contraception and sterilization as liberating technologies, but rather cruel instruments of woman’s personal degradation and enslavement to the will and desires of others.
We therefore look to Edith Stein as patroness of our Foundation and movement. We believe it most fitting that this great feminist and saint inspire all efforts to empower the world’s women in an authentic way in this new millennium. We think her ideas, articulated within the woman’s movement, will have great power to influence the cultural dialogue concerning woman, sexuality, marriage, and family.
Bolds here are mine.  In short, the Edith Stein Foundation is a Catholic Foundation, opposed to contraception and sterilization and pretty much created by Dr. Pedulla.  The rest of the leadership consists of two men and one woman, the latter the wife of Dr. Pedulla.  How odd that something like a foundation can be just another name for one couple...

The mission of the Edith Stein Foundation:

In 1968, an Italian scholar predicted that if contraception were to become a cultural norm, four things would result: a general lowering of moral standards, an increase in promiscuousness and infidelity, a rise in the disrespect men have for women, and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments. Strikingly, in the more than forty years since that portentous prognosis, all four of these have been realized. Social science not only shows it, but is showing the connection between a contraceptive culture and the social maladies of our day.
What’s more, medical research has shown and is continuing to show the far reaching ill effects of all methods of contraception. Not many people have heard about the 1968 predictions, and the growing body of evidence against contraceptives. For the dignity and health of women, this has got to stop. This is where the Edith Stein Foundation comes in to educate, advocate, research, connect, and heal
Thus, fighting for the eradication of contraceptives is the reason why we have this proposal in Oklahoma.  Truly fascinating stuff!  And think of how much power one man has in getting something like this into the political system!

Note also the code-word "dignity" in that last quote.  It's customarily used by various religions as a replacement for equality when talking about women.