Your Liberal Media
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
When pro-life becomes pro-pregnancy
Posted by neros_fiddle at 3:00 PM
Via Talking Points Memo, we find this op-ed from the Baltimore Sun.
At National Right to Life's conference this year, Mitt Romney set out to convince anti-abortion leaders he was their candidate. At the podium, he rattled off his qualifications. To a layman's ears, it sounded pretty standard for abortion politics. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. He supports teaching only abstinence to teens.
But for those trained to hear the subtleties, 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.
Mr. Romney's code, deciphered, meant, "I, like you, hope to reclassify the most commonly used forms of contraceptives as abortions..."
I have to suspect that, even in a country where at least half the public are creationists, running on a ban-the-Pill platform is probably not a good strategy for capturing the White House. Yet, as the op-ed persuasively points out, this is the position that the so-called "base" of the Republican party has staked out, and so those chasing the nomination must tell the base what they want to hear, while at the same saying it as obliquely as possible to avoid scaring the rest of the country as they slumber through the nomination process.
Is it likely that contraception will vanish from drug stores as soon as Mitt Romney is inaugurated? Of course not. But we've already seen movement toward allowing drug stores to not dispense contraception if the pharmacy tech isn't on board ideologically with the whole idea of family planning. And elected officials with an anti-contraception base to keep happy probably aren't going to go out of their way to protect access.
So it couldn't hurt to pay attention to some of the wacky stuff these guys say in 2007, to get an idea of how they'll get on the ballot in 2008.
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