Monday, November 20, 2006

Ah, the good old days 

Digby writes about the newest front in the anti-abortion movement -- glorifying childbearing and trashing birth control:

As I wrote earlier, we have the DLC hiring crackpot sociologists to write articles about liberals outbreeding the conservative movement, David Brooks talking about "natalism," Newsweek writing respectful articles about the Kooky Quiverfuls and now state legislatures connecting immigration to abortion and suggesting that the white women aren't breeding enough. Anybody feeling the hot breath of a new conservative meme on their necks?
Good luck with that. . . .
I do have a good idea how these people can lead by example, however. Every woman who belongs to the forced childbirth movement should sign a contract agreeing to birth at least four snowflake babies and homeschool them. This way they could assure that each woman fulfills her patriotic duty by raising at least four children (more if she wants to pass on her own very special genes) and the nation will have a nice homegrown uneducated workforce to exploit with low wages and bad working conditions. They wouldn't even have to fuck, which I'm sure would be a great relief for all concerned.
You know, the birth control pill was only developed 50 years ago, but I guess people have already forgotten what it was like when women had baby after baby, sometimes spending the years between 20 to 40 either pregnant or nursing.
If they lived through it.
Up until 1960 or so, birth control was unreliable and complicated and the techniques were mostly secret. But women did what they could to avoid pregnancy anyway -- rhythm or withdrawal or condoms -- not because they "hated children" or "wanted to find themselves" -- it was because they wanted to live long enough to raise the children they already had.
In the community where my grandfather homesteaded in 1905, just a hundred years ago, people used to talk about men "going through" two or three or four wives -- because the combination of hard work, pregnancy complications, and repeated forced childbearing would kill them, one after the other.
I don't think we want to go back to that, do we?

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