Speaking of change

If there were ever any doubt that the anti-abortion crowd was more concerned with controlling behavior than they were in stopping abortions, the recent moves out of the Bush administration has cleared that up. The Washington Post, which seems to have developed a backbone on its news pages in the last couple of days, points this out in an article titled "Does Bush proposal threaten access to the pill?" The short answer is "yes it does." The real question is, why has it taken so long for the traditional media to pick up on the fact that anti-choice people are going after birth control as well?

And let's be perfectly clear about this--there's an attack on birth control here. I'm sure there are lots of people who claim that they're pro-life (a euphemism I find dishonest, but whatever) but will say "I'm in favor of birth control." If that's you, then don't take this personally, because obviously, I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the people who are trying to enact this:

The most controversial section defines abortion as "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

That definition would include most forms of hormonal birth control and the IUD, which most major medical groups believe do not constitute abortion because they primarily affect ovulation or fertilization and not an embryo once it has implanted in the womb.
What they're doing is trying to redefine abortion so that it includes birth control. The science doesn't say that, but the Bush administration has never let a little thing like science get in the way of a political objective--look at the way they've pressured global warming scientists.

This is getting ridiculous, people. Look--if you're committed to reducing abortions, then we're on the same side here. I'd rather that fewer women were forced to make that choice in the first place. It's a painful procedure for the woman, and causes an often unnecessary hardship and expense. But you don't reduce abortions by making it so that women can't control when they get pregnant. You do it by providing all the tools possible to help women control that aspect of their lives.

The anti-choice movement has always been about controlling womens' sexual options, and the attack on birth control is just the next step in that movement. This step is clever, because of the framing--they don't want to ban birth control--they just want to give people who have a moral objection to dispensing it a way to avoid doing that part of their jobs. Sorry, but that doesn't fly either, for one major reason. It's based on a dishonest premise--that the pill and other forms of birth control are abortifacients. They aren't, and no amount of bullshittery by the Bush administration will make it so. If there's no honest premise, then a person can't have an honest objection to it. Simple as that.

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