08 February 2012

Why Make Birth Control An Issue?

Republicans seem to have made a strategic decision to mount a broad based effort to restrict access to contraceptives on multiple fronts. In what universe does this make any political sense?

Have I somehow missed the cultural trend away from a society where 95% of sexually active people use birth control at some point and have no problems with it, even if they are formally affiliated with a religious denomination that officially opposes birth control? Are Republicans worried that they will lose anti-birth control voters who are ordained Catholics to the Democrats if they don't take a line to the right of President Obama who has already veered to the right by overruling an FDA advisory panel on access to emergency contraception?

Maybe I'm out of touch. No one I know had any clue that Santorum would win the Republican caucuses in Colorado on Tuesday. But, birth control, unlike abortion, is not really a controversial issue among ordinary voters, and the number one, number two and number three issues right now are the economy. Nobody out there is complaining about being duped by drug companies and health insurers into having fewer children than they would have had by accident because birth control was available to them.

What's next? Will Republicans decide that they should take pro-pirate positions because President Obama has used the military to take on pirates, since the problem of having armed thugs steal ships is better handled by private industry and mercenaries are being deprived of jobs guarding ships? Will Santorum try to one up Gingrich by committing to rebuild the City of Atlantis in American territorial waters? Will Ron Paul commit to legalizing anti-aircraft missiles for members of the general public? Will Romney argue for the reinstatement of prohibition? Will Gingrich push to have sexual harassment laws repealed?

I can't wait.


Michael Malak said...

Not just contraception, but also sterilization and the morning after pill.

Republicans are appealing to the notion that this is a slippery slope that will lead to a situation like in China, where the Chinese government chooses the bishops for the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, forcing the real Catholic church there underground.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Yeah, right, before we know it we'll all be eating out of an iron rice bowl. And, Red Dawn is prophetic. I don't think that will play well in Peoria.

Michael Malak said...

On March 2, 2012, the archbishop of New York wrote a letter:

"The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers."