Congresswoman Compares Contraception Access to Boko Haram Kidnapping

Christine Rousselle

7/17/2014 12:00:00 PM - Christine Rousselle

Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California's 14th District, sent out a tweet this morning that compared access to contraception to the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls by the militant group Boko Haram. Speier included an infographic from the United Nations along with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which is a reference to the kidnapping of 230 girls from the Chibok Government Secondary School.

Does anyone with a functioning brain think that Boko Haram, a group whose name translates to "Western education is forbidden," would not have kidnapped those girls if only the girls were given access to abortions and contraception?

Yes, societies do prosper with education. Absolutely. To suggest, however, that education is only possible with access to contraception (which the UN classifies as carcinogenic) and other reproductive health care is offensive. Countries that forbid or restrict the education of women need a cultural shift to empower women—distributing pills isn't going to cut it.