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February 17, 2012
Contraception, the Useful New Passion
A new liberal scheme is afoot and conservatives would do well to be alert to it. It involves approaching an old goal from a new path. The appeal to liberals is twofold-either they get to the previously unattainable goal, or they make such a fuss along the way that all outstanding issues are muddied. I pray Republicans don't take the bait.
The new liberal scheme has to do with their newfound passion for contraception.
To begin with, contraception is free and it always has been; it is called abstention. It has many virtues:
Shoot, even men can be involved in this method of contraception. We're not talking about a sexless life here, just ask Bill Clinton.
But that is not the issue. When one thinks of contraception, one thinks of birth control pills and condoms. Lately, I have noticed that Jay Carney, the hapless Obama administration press secretary, has taken to calling the issue "...contraception and other preventive care for women..." Then I noticed that he and others have begun saying "preventive services" alone, using as a new umbrella term. So what's under that umbrella? Under what auspices is it justly "free" to the user?
Do "preventive services" include vasectomies and tubal ligations? Well, why not? So long as it prevents the dreaded pregnancy, it's a small logical leap. Even though these operations are far more costly than pills and condoms, the discussion has value because it moves the ball forward, inching toward the final goal.
If the liberals can bring everyone into this line of thinking, how long will it be before abortion is considered a "method of contraception?" Is it not infinitely safer than the dreaded pregnancy?
Maybe at first, a very few free abortions will be given to a limited number of means-tested and egregiously victimized women at government hospitals. Heart-rending stories of how their lives were saved will fill the airwaves. Then, of course, it would be un-American to deprive other worthy women of the same service-that just wouldn't make sense.
And there you are; free-for-the-asking abortions. Never happen? So what? The Republicans are expected to work themselves into drooling frenzy over the very discussion. Women will demonstrate, especially union women. There will be a demand for politicians to "take a stand". This would be a colossal distraction. This will put conservative politicians in the position of explaining the finer points of the difference between contraception and abortion. It will not be possible to discuss this subject in public without looking like a fool. That is the plan.
Availability of contraception is a completely invented issue, made of whole political cloth. It is so readily available that they had to add the "free" part just to imply it was somehow limited. The Republicans should not step into this mire. The presidency is a Federal office, each candidate should take the position that it is a matter for the states and not suited to be an element of the voting decision process. Hey guys, you've already got tar on your hands from being a candidate-don't stick your fingers into this bag of feathers.
As a woman, I am qualified to state the following very clearly: there is no issue less suited to public discussion than abortion. Like it or not, it is a personal decision. This tail has been wagging the Republican dog long enough.
Now for a little tough love for my fellow conservatives. Smug public figures portray abortion seekers as bored Bel-Air housewives that want to be sure they fit into their Christmas party dress. It is far more likely that it's a 14 year old girl that got knocked up in the back of a car and would literally rather die than have her parents know about it. It's never pretty and no one ever thinks it's "right". They do it because they are consumed with the necessity to do it.
No woman has sex in order to have an abortion-not one. The very thought of what it really is breaks my heart, but I understand. Making it illegal has never and will never stop the practice. You can make it difficult, but remember one thing-the woman is always the first to know and she will always make a personal decision.
Throw away your political career on this fruitless discussion if you want to, but you will not change the mind of a single decider. I pray you do not all jump at this bait, our country is at stake in this election-one of you must win.
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