2005-09-28

Lawyers, Guns and Money: GOP: Fetuses Are Rights-bearing Subjects, Adult Women Are Not

Excellent essay on why pro-lifers (forced-birth advocates is a better term) are utter hypocrites.

(T)he Netherlands has a much lower abortion rate than the United States. This is generally true of most liberal democracies with access to abortion; the U.S. is a distinct outlier when it comes to abortion rates. Even Canada, where abortion is both unregulated and state funded, has lower abortion rates. And the reasons for this are obvious: certain policies, like providing access to contraception, rational and scientifically accurate sex education, and subsidized child care, have the predictable effect of lowering abortion rates. (Not surprisingly, women who are aware of and have access to contraception generally prefer to use it rather than getting abortions.) Given that doctors performed large numbers of abortions even when the practice was formally illegal, one might think that “pro-lifers” would be interested in such policies. But, of course, they aren’t; there are individual exceptions, but for the most part Republican “pro-lifers” are much less likely to support such policies. Because, after all, policies that allow women to make sexual choices that conservatives disapprove of are the real enemy. Among the most odious recent example of this is conservative opposition to HPV vaccinations. (Death before unmarried sex—very “pro-life.”) People who oppose rational sex. ed. are, in fact, so powerful within the Republican party that they can force the physician who is the Republican leader in the Senate to pretend on national television that AIDS might be spread through tears and compel the government to put lies about the effectiveness of condoms on government websites. Whatever their subjective motivations are, we know that given a stark choice between protecting fetal life and maintaining reactionary and patriarchal conceptions of sexuality, most “pro-lifers” will choose the latter.

Lawyers, Guns and Money: GOP: Fetuses Are Rights-bearing Subjects, Adult Women Are Not

Nod to Digby

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