Thursday, July 31, 2008

One step closer to re-criminalizing birth control and abortion 

The Bush Administration is pandering to the Religious Right wingnuts by proposing to redefine the most popular and accessible means of birth control, the Pill, as abortion.
They're pretending that the regulation is an innocuous human rights protection -- just a way to help all those poor beleaguered doctors and pharmacists who are now being forced by mean state governments to do their jobs against their moral code, you know.
But actually what will happen, of course, is that anti-abortion activists will now have a new focus for their activism -- they will launch intensive pressure campaigns against local doctors and pharmacists and hospitals to stop prescribing birth control pills and the morning after pill altogether, and to stop insurance companies from covering the costs.
Even the Wall Street Journal grasps the larger implications:
With its expansive definitions, the draft bolsters a key goal of the religious right: to give single-cell fertilized eggs full rights by defining them as legal people -- or, as some activists put it, "the tiniest boys and girls."
As long as Roe v. Wade remains in effect and abortion remains legal, that goal can't be fully realized. But in recent years, abortion opponents have scored notable successes. For instance: Several states now define a fertilized egg as a legal person -- an "unborn child" -- for purposes of fetal homicide laws, which allow criminal prosecution when a woman miscarries as a result of an assault . . .
Even if the draft is never implemented, activists on both sides consider it a potential momentum shift.
"You keep striking away and framing the issue the way you want to frame it," said David DeWolf, a law professor at Gonzaga University who has advised anti-abortion groups. "That's the political strategy."
Gee, sorta reminds me of the debate around our very own proposal for an Unborn Victims of Crime Act -- which, we are assured, has absolutely nothing to do with trying to re-criminalize abortion and birth control, no, of course not ...

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