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How did the GOP get so radical on contraception?

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, February 18, 2011 21:49 EDT
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planned-parenthoodWhen pro-choicers like myself highlight the fact that the anti-choice movement to which the Republican party is beholden is not just anti-abortion, but anti-contraception, we generally meet a sea of skepticism. “Nuh-uh,” it usually goes, “A lot of them just really believe that stuff about fetuses being people. The ones who want to take away your birth control are a minority. I can tell, because most Americans are pro-contraception, but they feel icky about abortion.”

And therein lies the first problem with the statement. Most Americans don’t actually think much about abortion. They may think they do, but usually they’re generically “pro-life” or “pro-choice” depending on their political subculture they reside in, but they’ve never actually grappled with the issue in-depth. The anti-choice movement, on the other hand? The people who have fetus checks, protest at clinics, and give money? Those people own the Republican party, and they do not like contraception, STD testing, or basically any women’s health care they can convince themselves “encourages” female sexuality. (Women, for the record, have a sexuality by nature, despite all right wing attempts to convince themselves women wouldn’t even think about sex if the evil feminist mafia didn’t tell them to.) Fetal life is and always has been a cover story for deep-set anger at women for making so many gains in the past few decades, especially with regards to control over our own sexuality, which the patriarchy was, after all, established to control. They are the true believers in patriarchy, and think god gave women wombs so they could control women.

Those people won today. I think a lot of people were surprised, but I was not. What I’ve seen happening since at least the Stupak amendment, but really before that, is that Republicans have sculpted a strategy to give the Christian right that has them by the balls what they want, without running off the legions of voters who think of themselves as “fiscal conservatives” and don’t really spend their days steaming with anger that someone somewhere is using a condom.

The fleshed-out analysis is here. I’ve been working really hard on this, so I’d definitely appreciate it if you could click over and read it, and better yet, share it with people who are truly shocked and didn’t see this de-funding of Planned Parenthood coming.

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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