Bush Redefining Contraception As Abortion.

Everyone should be concerned about this sneaky back-door attempt to interfere with women’s reproductive rights, whether they are childfree or not. But for the [tag]childfree[/tag] and those who may not want to reproduce it’s even more important.

Bush Redefining Contraception as Abortion

Though this is about “Plan B” (What’s also called the Morning After Pill) rather than all contraception, the result is the same and it is a slippery slope. Chipping away at women’s rights to determine whether or not they want to have children. Changing the rules by the back door. Removing access to birth control, and at the same time refusing tubal ligations and vasectomies to women and men who want them until they’ve added to the gene pool.

Note the collusion with the Religious Right in this when you read what last-gasp Bush is doing and think of how it’s going to give the “Pro-Lifers” more freedom than ever.

This is scary, crazy stuff, being brought in on the sly while everyone is supposedly distracted by the elections. I’d sign the petition in a flash (I tried) but it’s for US Citizens. So, here’s what you can do.

  1. Read the article
  2. Sign the petition
  3. Share the link on your blog or Facebook or MySpace or other profiles, and make as many people aware as possible so they can sign the petition.
  4. Comment – here and on the blog

SBK – Thanks for flagging.

I just hope Americans are listening and aware because they need to be vigilant. Anyone who thinks women’s reproduction rights aren’t under systematic and consistent attack is dreaming.

Bush Redefining Contraception as Abortion

11 thoughts on “Bush Redefining Contraception As Abortion.

  1. Rhona

    I always find ‘pro-lifers’ attitude towards contraception confusing – surely it is better to prevent a pregnancy than end one?

    I don’t know how things stand in Canada and/or the States, but I have had a hell of a time in the UK trying to find a doctor who will refer me for a sterilisation. The ongoing argument being that I ‘might change my mind’ (oh, please!).

    How deeply, deeply patronising is this? I am almost 30 years old, have two degrees, run my own business and have been commitedly CF all my life (really, ask my mother). Am I such a gullible, hormone-driven fuckwit that I cannot be trusted to make a decision about my bodily integrity?

    As I refuse to fill my body with synthetic hormones and will not coerce my partner into a vasectomy (hey, bodily integrity swings both ways!), we use barrier methods, which are not infallible. I have explained to medics, on numerous occasions, that were I to find myself pregnant, I would abort. This isn’t even a discussion, it’s a fact.

    So why the curious anomaly – are doctors more willing to ‘end a life’ (I’m pro-choice, btw, I’m merely using emotive language as devil’s advocate!) than accept somebody’s decision to act in a responsible, adult fashion to prevent that situation occurring in the first place?!

    BG, I’m awfully sorry for having veered off on a tangential rant about my ‘lady bits’, but I truly believe that policies such as the one you describe above are the first ‘death knell’ for CF women (and men). A society that lazily shrugs off the MA pill will shrug off hormonal contraception, the coil, the condom…

    Why do I believe that this is as much a men’s issue as a women’s issue? Because I do not believe that anybody should have the right to compromise somebody’s ‘right to life’ by forcing parenthood upon them (although, to be honest, boys, if you suspect she is a ‘wannabreeder’, wear a condom or abstain and make your feelings known in advance. Pregnancy is difficult to undo when the bearer holds the cards).

    Reproductive rights concern everybody (both male and female, childed and CF) and, as such, I hope that this petition is a success.

    I have my doubts, though, I’m sad to say.

  2. Beth is not my real name

    I am a citizen of the United States and in my opinion, I think that for the most part they are trying to prevent the ending of new life once it is started. In my understanding, Plan B works by preventing the implantation of the conceptus/zygote. I don’t really think that elective sterilization will ever be legislated against, but I guess that is the proverbial slippery slope though. I just recently had my Essure procedure done and being childfree, I was expecting some questioning or a lecture and I got nothing. I think it is probably far easier to get sterilized in the United States than in other places. Medicine in the USA is privatized and if your insurance is going to cover a particular procedure or you have the money to pay for it, you can schedule it. When I decided I wanted to get sterilized I called made an appointment and 2 weeks later I had my procedure. As far as Plan B goes, it is really just a larger dose of hormones and once when I had need of it, instead of getting the actual Plan B pill, my doctor just advised me to take a certain number of my birth control pills all at once. Don’t do this without a doctors supervision, it can make you really sick because all pills have a different dose of hormones. I really feel for anyone who really wants a sterilization and can not get one, hopefully doctors will become more open minded in the future. I do not see any ethical issues with sterilization, as long as you are certain.

  3. Megs

    If you let these right-wing psychopaths run the place, pretty soon they’ll want to file charges against you every month that you DON’T get pregnant. That egg was alive! And you killed it! (Guys, you can start singing along with Monty Python anytime now…)
    The truth is, the Roe vs. Wade decision was not based on religion, morality, or biology. The final decision was based on privacy laws – it was decided that an abortion was a private matter between a woman and her physician, and therefore none of the government’s business. The anti-abortion crowd knows this, and so are some of the most vocal supporters of legislation that damages privacy laws. (Maybe when the government is recording all their phone calls and tags them as a terrorist organization (hello Guantanamo!) or they’re denied health insurance or employment based on some genetically predicted 25% increased risk of alcoholism or heart disease – a fact that could be made available to insurance companies or potential employers if individuals lose the right to genetic privacy – maybe then they will know that they have seriously F***ED UP and the end didn’t actually justify the means.)
    Anything that weakens privacy laws weakens Roe vs. Wade, and any attempt to base reproductive rights on something other than privacy laws is extremely dangerous ground. After all, sperm and eggs are alive all on their own, so if we start basing this on some esoteric discussion of “where does life begin”, we’re gonna get screwed.

  4. Britgirl Post author

    I see those who would rather women have no say in their reproductive rights – and privacy as you’ve mentioned – chipping steadily at Roe vs Wade over the years. To me this is just another counter attack, albeit via another route. The moment we start basing decisions on some religious or moral benchmark (the religious right) it’s over. Women – and men must be vigilant, because these people will stop at nothing.

    And with the US courts routinely populated with right wing judges women’s reproductive rights are under systematic attack. On the issue of privacy though, Megs, it seems even those rights aren’t as safe as they used to be (wire-tapping without permission by the government… all in the name of what? The Patriot Act? To a hammer, everything is a nail.

  5. Kendise

    Why is this issue “even more important” to the childfree?. I am a 28 year old American woman with a two year old and a second baby on the way, but this issue is just as important to me as is to my friend who doesn’t have or want any kids. Just because I’ve already made the choice to have two kids doesn’t mean I want to pop out another one every year for the rest of my childbearing years. My right to contraceptives is damn important to me. I don’t want my own government telling me I can’t decide for myself if I want to have more children or not. It’s not anyone’s concern but my own.

  6. CFSinceSix

    Kendise, I would venture to guess it is “more important” to the childfree because we’re the ones who are most likely to be denied sterilization. Especially when we’re young (I was 19 and was denied a tubal) and of childbearing age. The reason being is that doctors assume we’ll change our minds.

    With women who have already had atleast one child, the idea is that, “She has already fulfilled her instinct” and so her chances for sterilization are greater and more likely to happen. I know two women that when they were going to give birth to their second children they were asked if they wanted a tubal to prevent pregnancy. See, they (and you) have already done your “womanly duty” of providing children to your husbands. It’s very mysogynistic. Childfree women are hardly ever taken seriously and it is assumed we’ll want to change our minds once we “know better.”

    This is why it is “even more important” to the childfree.

    I would venture to say that it is “even more important” to women in general. Bush is a mysogynistic evil man who uses religion to enforce his personal views and gain more wealth and power. He needs to be impeached.

    Remember, feminism was about a woman’s choice to be who she wants to be. Whether that is a constructor worker, secretary, computer programmer, doctor, nurse, president of a country and yes, all this includes whether she wants to remain childfree or be a mother. Not that she *must* be a mother or that we *must* cater to mothers specifically – and that’s what it has come down to – almost.

  7. Britgirl Post author

    Kendise it’s more important to childfree women and their partners precisely for the reasons that ChildfreeSinceSix has succicntly outlined. If we want a tubal it’s so we don’t have to have a “mistake” happen. Yet a myopic medical profession insists on comparing our requests to women like yourself… who have already got a couple of kids… or more.

    So unfortunately until the medical profession leaves behind it’s misguided notion that all women need a couple of kids before they know their own minds, and we can can tubals WHEN we want them, an on OUR terms then yes, the availability of all contraception IS more important to us. And that includes the morning after pill.

    Bush and his religious right cronies seem to still believe that women should be barefoot and naked in the kitchen with a brood of kids tugging at her apron strings. This is his last gasp attempt at steering them back in that direction.

  8. Kendise

    You’re right, I didn’t think about the fact that it can be very difficult for a woman with no children to be taken seriously about sterilization. And I understand that the point of view here is from women who have chosen not to have children. I just think its an issue that is very important to a lot of different women – with children and without. What about all the women out there who have children, don’t want anymore, but can’t afford the hospital bill for a tubal or other form of sterilzation? Or women like my cousin, who has four children, went in for a tubal and had her heart stop after the doctor put her under – he then couldn’t finish the procedure and her only option is birth control? Or women like me who don’t want to have any more kids, but are leary of surgery and want to continue to use birth control?

    I do understand that a lot of doctors (and I agree, these doctors are morons) out there won’t sterilize a woman who hasn’t had children and that makes this issue “even more important” to them. I just think there are other women to whom it “even more important” to as well. I think it needs to be “even more important” to all women.

  9. timethief

    I have reconsidered my first comment and would like you to replace it with an edited edition.

    To me women having absolute control over their medical and reproductive decisions is a civil and human rights issue. To me reproductive decisions are private choices made by a woman in consultation with her doctor and restrict­ing access to either abortion or contraception “does not belong on the governmental agenda.

    Countries in the world that have strong secular values and less religious influence in government have lower crime rates, and higher social values. I am referring to the most atheistic societies, including countries like Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, & to a certain extent Canada (Note that while these are not ‘true’ atheistic societies, with 100% atheists there, but they are far more atheistic than say South Africa, USA, etc.).

    These countries are far better “behaved” in almost every measure (eg. violent crime, sexual ethics, spread of STD’s, teen pregnancies, abortion rates) – these are all lower in countries where there are higher levels of indigenous atheists. So it does seem that the belief that high levels of religiosity somehow lead to higher levels of ethical or moral behaviour are patently false and a fantasy.

    Women are going to continue to have abortions. Denying American women the same right to make their own medical decisions free from interference is a human rights issue – plain and simple.

    It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine “abortion” to include birth control, unless and until you are well informed about the pro-life agenda and political tactics.

    Perceiving abortion as the “ultimate immorality,” abortion opponents support the use of the government’s coercive authority against it ( Steiner 1983, 1). Their preferred abortion policy would be to see access to abortion completely forbidden, or at least nearly so. This could be accom­plished through a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade ( 410 U.S. 113), passage of the Human Life Amendment, or congressional action recognizing human life from the point of conception and the extension of Fourteenth Amendment protection to the fetal-being ( NIF 1990, 14).

    Having failed thus far to make abortions completely forbidden, abortion opponents pursue a political strategy designed to greatly reduce access to abortion and related services. They advocate such restrictive actions as passing laws prohibiting abortion except when the mother’s physical or mental life is at risk, requiring parental or spousal notification and consent, mandating waiting periods and informed consent, prohibiting the expenditures of public funds or use of public facilities to perform abortions, and promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion ( NIF 1990, 14). All these actions are taken, pro-life advocates claim, to save the fetal-being’s life.

    Bush’s actions reveal that the hard line religious right wingers want to
    (1) strip a woman of her human rights;
    (2) grant human rights to her fetus; and
    (3) compel her to deliver it prematurely,and
    (4) allow it to be adopted.

    When combined with the concept of redefining contraception as abortion, we can readily see that these people are obsessive compulsives with a dangerous power and control agenda. We can also see that they are hypocrits because they claim to uphold democratic principles when in fact they are part of a committed campaign to establish minority tyranny.

  10. Britgirl Post author

    Hi TT – long time! Thanks for this. It will be interesting to see if a woman’s right to control her reproductive decisions will ever get elevated to being a human right. It probably should be, but as long as the fight to give “rights” to the fetus continues the woman’s rights are going to be secondary.

    Not sure about the other countries, but I don’t know that I’d call Canada an atheist or even secular country though. (Doesn’t atheist mean belief in the non-existence of God?) As far as I know Canada, to all intents and purposes is still considered a Christian country at least, I believe, according to the UN. I don’t know whether to say that religion drives policy in Canada, but I do know that the current Conservative Party (aka the Reform party) is about as rw , right leaning and “Christian” as they come. They may not be as vocal or as prominent as the Religious Right in the America, but I don’t think there’s that much difference.

    “It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine “abortion” to include birth control, unless and until you are well informed about the pro-life agenda and political tactics.”
    Unfortunenately this is true. Let’s hope people do get informed and act.

  11. Pendrift

    Have just turned on the news and saw that McCain picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin – who has 5 kids, the last with Down’s Syndrome (already being spinned as “proof of her commitment to the pro-life movement”), and is also strongly anti-same sex marriage.
    A total dark horse, and not much is known about her yet, but this does not bode well for women’s rights – specifically their right to choose!

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