Everything’s abortion

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, July 21, 2008 22:53 EDT
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Kudos to Hillary Clinton for putting her name to this article and distributing it on the internet. As I’ve said a million times before, the hardest part about talking to people about the anti-choice agenda is convincing them that the Fetus People are also out to get contraception banned—or at least severely limited—as well. Which is pretty stellar evidence that contrary to the mainstream media portrayal of the reproductive rights debate, this is not about whether or not the fetus is a person who deserves protection, but about sex and making sure that people, especially women, suffer for having a sexuality and making wingnuts uncomfortable. Obviously, anti-choicers prefer to wax poetic about the fetus because that makes them seem, while nutty, at least a little sympathetic, whereas the reality of their nature makes them seem like sadists and killjoys. It’s no wonder they’d like to define everything they don’t like as “abortion” to get more people to be wary of it. I suspect, if she could get away with it, Leslee Unruh would define speaking the word “condom” out loud as a form of abortion.

It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that the idea that preventing pregnancy is a form of terminating pregnancy hadn’t found a foothold in the federal government. That the HHS under the Bush administration is seeking to define birth control pills and IUDs as “abortion” in its regulations on what a healthcare provider can refuse to do shows exactly how not stupid the crazy wingnuts are. I used to think that it was unlikely that they could get their new definition of “abortion” used to restrict contraception in any mainstream capacity, but as usual, I underestimated the Wingnutteria. They’re bound and determined to make ours a post-science society, and sometimes I think they’ll be able to succeed by sheer perseverance and of course, generous funding from rich right wingers.

But there is good news. I’m sure that most of you have tried and failed to convince people you know that anti-choicers really do have a complete agenda to squelch sexual freedom, and that they’re not just fetus worshippers. It’s hard to believe that people could be as crazy as the hard right anti-choicers, and it’s tempting to give them the benefit of the doubt. With this evidence in hand—evidence that anti-contraception nuttery has reached the federal level—you can go forth and start convincing people that activists who claim to be against “abortion” don’t mean the word in the same way you or I do, but tend to think of “abortion” as meaning “getting away with sexual behavior I disapprove of without dire consequences to your health and happiness”. For all I know, they’re trying to figure out a way to argue that drugs used to treat STIs are “abortion”.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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