Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great
An op-ed in the Baltimore Sun explains that the Republican war against birth control continues, quietly:
Mr. Romney was acknowledging something more. He implied an opposition to the birth control pill and a willingness to join in their efforts to scale back access to contraception. There are code phrases to listen for - and for those keeping score, Mr. Romney nailed each one.
One code phrase is: "I fought to define life as beginning at conception rather than at the time of implantation." The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines pregnancy as starting at implantation, the first moment a pregnancy can be known. Anti-abortion advocates want pregnancy to start at the unknown moment sperm and egg meet: fertilization. They'd also like you to believe, despite evidence to the contrary, that the birth control pill prevents that fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. …
The American public is unaware of the new wave of anti-contraception activism by opponents of abortion, which makes it much easier for politicians to appease the anti-contraception base. Take, for example, President Bush. While he has delivered some big anti-abortion victories for the religious right in the last seven years (Supreme Court Justices John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr., and the so-called partial-birth abortion ban), anti-contraception work has taken up more of his energy. He attempted to strip contraceptive coverage for federal employees; appointed anti-birth control leader David Hager to the FDA panel that approves and expands access to contraceptive methods; chose another contraception opponent to oversee the nation's contraceptive program for the poor; defunded international family-planning programs, and invested unprecedented sums into sex-ed programs that prohibit mention of contraception.
You gotta love these Republicans. For years, they railed against welfare recipients breeding like rabbits at the expense of hard-working Americans. So we put limits on welfare. Made people go to work. Fair enough. There were plenty of good reasons to reform welfare.
But now Republicans, who once bemoaned that poor people kept popping out babies, would deny them the means to prevent those pregnancies in the first place. Oh, sure, the poor can practice abstinence. Like Newt Gingrich. Or David Vitter. Or Rudy Guiliani. (Unless you believe that he and Judith Nathan had a purely platonic relationship while they were wrecking Rudy’s first—oops, I mean second—marriage.)
The party of a president who once said that government is the problem, not the solution, wants the government to strip you of your right to decide when--and if--to have children, and how many to have. It just doesn't want the government to pay for them once they are here.
(Thanks to Jason for the tip and my Python-inspired headline.)