Now that Justice Kennedy is retiring under suspicious circumstances (his son was Trump’s banker at Deutsche Bank and inexplicably authorized at least $1 billion in loans to the failed businessman with multiple bankruptcies) and Roe v. Wade is under direct threat of being overturned, this might be a good time to remind people that it won’t stop there. Once the right is done banning abortion, they will go after the Pill.
We know this because they keep telling us that this is what they want to do:
“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country,” the former Pennsylvania senator [Rick Santorum] explained. “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be”
And the language they use to talk about abortion often has nothing to do with abortion itself but everything to do with punishing women:
WASHINGTON ― A Republican lawmaker in Texas who proposed a bill that would criminalize abortion said the policy would force women to be “more personally responsible” for their sexual behavior.
“Right now, it’s real easy,” State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) told the Texas Observer. “Right now, they don’t make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of ‘oh, I can just go get an abortion.’ Now, we both know that consenting adults don’t always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they’re gonna have, which is a child.”
The Pill infuriated the religious right
Today, the religious rights makes a bug show about how much they care about the unborn. But before they started pretending to give a damn about babies, they didn’t give a damn about abortion. They did, however, care very much about preventing women from being being able to avoid pregnancy. Various laws prevented women from buying contraceptives but they were weakly enforced. As birth control became more sophisticated and widespread, the push back from the religious right became more strident. As far as the zealots were concerned, the Pill was the work of the devil:
Anyone who reads even casually in history knows how this played out. Fertile women often endured sequential pregnancies, with their lives defined by this experience. (In an age before effective medicine, most families endured the death of at least one child, sometimes several.) Such a system made women economically dependent on men.
By giving women and their partners the power to space births apart and to plan children, the pill offered a form of emancipation. Large families were still an option for those who wanted them, but for those who did not, a new world of options was suddenly open.
Worse, by taking away the power from men to control the use of contraception, women were, ahem, liberated from a patriarchal system. This was intolerable to religious right. The misogyny, if anything, has only grown since the Pill was invented. Women not under the control of a repressive male-dominated society literally move men to mass murder. It will certainly motivate them to pass laws taking away their reproductive rights again.
Reproductive Rights drove the religious right insane
But the worst came to pass with Griswold v Connecticut. This case established the right of married women to access whatever kind of birth control they wanted. This led to unmarried women being able to access birth control as well. Eventually, Griswold gave women the right to have an abortion in Roe v. Wade.
It’s important to keep in mind the only reason the religious right made abortion their central issue: It was easier to “defend the unborn”. It’s orders of magnitude harder to convince conservatives that women are whores that deserve to be punished with unwanted pregnancies. Or, at least it used to be harder. But white Republican voters have become a mindless cult. When Trump tells them banning the Pill and other contraceptives is vital to preserving national security, they’ll blindly obey. After all, if white people don’t start having more babies, how are we going to make America
white great again?
If you’re wondering how forcing minority women to have more babies helps, you’re not thinking like a white nationalist. Of course, the government will have to help white families producing lots of white babies with subsidies. You know, because family values and all that. Brown families need not apply and they’ll be pushed into poverty by uncontrolled family growth. If you think that’s insane, you must have missed the part where they’re already trying to get away with something similar. And once Trump finishes filling the courts with right wing extremists, they’ll rubber stamp the GOP’s blatantly racist agenda as 100% constitutional.
The religious right has made no secret of their burning desire to ban the Pill and all forms of contraception. The closer they get to overturning Roe v. Wade, the louder they’re going to be about their true intentions. They won’t stop until women have no reproductive rights at all. After that, all of their concern about the children will have been long forgotten. This is a fight to control women’s bodies and their future. The religious right has the very worst intentions for America’s women and ending abortion is just the beginning.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.