I’d rather have Uncle Sam between my legs than John Boehner

John’s post about “Jon Stewart on GOP Government Shutdown & Obamacare exchanges” got me thinking — particularly when I watched the Jason Jones Obamacare segment.

One of the women Jason interviewed was Gina Loudon, a ‘conservative analyst.’ In his interview with her, Jason couldn’t keep a straight face when Loudon tried to assert that our pre-“Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare) “free market” healthcare system was perfect.

Then Jason began discussing the commercials being aired by both sides, including the infamous “rapey gyno-Uncle Sam” one. Loudon walked right into the rhetorical hypocrisy in saying she believed that the government had no business being in the doctor’s examination room, treatment is a private matter, and should be between a patient and her doctor, and so on.


Creepy Uncle Sam ad being used to convince college students to opt-out of the Affordable Care Act.

Then Jason asked Ms. Loudon if she was pro-choice. She stammered, “It depends on what issue you’re talking about.” And then tried to assert a ‘right to life’ in the Constitution. (Funny how most conservatives don’t believe there’s a right to life when talking about convicted criminals though… Or a right to life for children and adults who can’t afford health care.) Anyway, click on over to John’s post if you want to see the Jason Jones video. It’s a classic.

Far-right conservatives deliberately conflate abortion and contraception

I’m coming at this post from the abortion-angle in particular because conservatives (Republicans, fundamentalists, ConservaDems) just love to conflate abortion with contraception and family planning. Then they use their opposition to abortion, on what they feel are moral grounds, also to oppose the right of women to control what happens to our bodies.

Including whether or not we get preggers in the first place.

// //


As I’ve remarked before, it’s not enough for them to say we can’t have abortions — whether medically necessary or by choice — we’re also not really supposed to do anything that would interfere with any man’s sperm fertilizing an egg inside our bodies. Even if that sperm was introduced by rape or incest, or if that resulting pregnancy will endanger our lives.

Doesn’t matter. It’s not even a fertilized egg that has more rights than we do. The sperm cell does.

Think about that:  According to the radical right, a rapist’s sperm cell has more rights than women do.

And they accuse Uncle Sam of invading my gynecological personal space?  Uncle Sam’s got nothing on these guys.

The far-right lies constantly about contraception and women’s reproduction

Unfortunately, we’re dealing with a nearly endless barrage of lies and deliberate misinformation whenever the radical (often religious) right talks about contraception (or any issue really):

  • Rush Limbaugh describing contraceptive medication as if it’s something women take every time we have sex. (The pill form is usually taken daily, regardless of sexy-time plans. I’m not going to bother linking anything because it’s self-evident to anyone who isn’t an ignorant misogynist.)
  • “Plan B is actually an abortion pill.” (No, it’s not. It prevents ovulation, and if an egg has been released, prevents fertilization. While it does affect the uterus lining, it won’t prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. This is why it needs to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It will not cause an abortion if the woman is already pregnant.)
  • “Hormonal contraceptives cause cancer.” (They don’t. There’s a slight increase in risk of breast cancer, but significantly reduced chances for cervical and uterine cancer.)
  • “Planned Parenthood is essentially an abortion mill.” (No. Abortion services are 3% of what they do. Contraception is 35% — which makes me wonder if that isn’t the real objection of the radical right.)
  • “Contraceptives make it harder to get pregnant after stopping them.” (Nope. It’s possible to get pregnant in the very next cycle after stopping, and a return to full fertility is usually reached within six months max.)
  • “Contraception is an entirely new thing.” (Actually, condoms date back at least to the middle 1600s. And women have been using herbs for millennia. We’ve just become more scientific about it.)
  • “Women taking birth control causes prostate cancer in men.” (Another lie.)
  • “Women who don’t have sex don’t need contraceptive medication.” (Not true. A mere 42% of women use it only for that reason.)
  • And of course: “Women can’t get pregnant from rape.” (5% of rapes result in pregnancy. Roughly the same rate for any woman of fertile age having unprotected, unplanned sex.)

Half the time, it seems like we’re reduced to fighting a defensive war against these outright falsehoods, 24/7.

Why publicly supported family planning services are essential for women

The Guttmacher Institute, whose mission statement is, “advancing sexual and reproductive health worldwide through research, policy analysis, and public education,” just came out with a video. In just 3.5 minutes, it does a fantastic job of explaining why publicly supported family planning services are essential. Not just for women, but for society in general.

A few of the highlights:

  • Contraceptive and reproductive health services help women avoid well over two million unplanned pregnancies each year.
  • An estimated 760,000 of those pregnancies would otherwise result in abortions, pushing the current abortion rate 2/3 higher than it is now.
  • Family planning enables parents to space out the births of their kids, resulting in healthier mothers and children, both.
  • Helping low-income women avoid unplanned pregnancies saves $5.68 in Medicaid costs for every dollar invested. (Isn’t keeping people off of public assistance a conservative goal?)
  • For many women, places like Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics are their entry point to receiving healthcare at all — including preventive health screening for cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and much more.
  • Medicaid, family planning funding, and Title X programs are facing relentless cuts and attacks from the radical right.
  • Close to seven million low-income women are at risk of losing this vital social safety net due to far-right anti-woman ideology.

Access to contraception reduces abortions. There is no rational debate about this, no arguments save those which deny facts and reality.

Abstinence-only sex ed has been proven time and time again not to work at all. (It reminds me of the old joke I grew up with, raised Irish Roman Catholic as I was: What’s the other name for the Rhythm Method? A new baby once every year.)

Access to contraceptive medication enables young women to finish their educations and to get good jobs. It also makes it more possible for us to serve our country in the armed forces, where an unplanned pregnancy could really be a problem.

The difference between having an unplanned pregnancy when 18 and unmarried should be obvious when compared to having that baby a few years later, after college, settled down, employed and married, etc. The planned family will, in most cases, be far better off than the unplanned one. It’s also obviously better for the kids.

It bears repeating: Access to contraception results in fewer abortions. Family planning results in healthier women and children. It also results in more stable and prosperous families.

The fact these pro-family goals are not priorities for the conservative far right is telling.

I myself come from an extended family where unplanned pregnancies — including the health-threatening one that resulted in me — were the norm, not the exception. Another family member unwisely ended up in a horrible marriage to a drug addict as a result of an unplanned pregnancy (due entirely because contraception wasn’t used, not even a condom). Why? She was 19 and had no job, no prospects, and had been still living in her parents’ house. She’s okay now, but those were hellish years of abuse and poverty. The S.O.B. even sold the family groceries to support his addiction.

As good Roman Catholics, my parents didn’t believe in contraception or abortion either. My folks argued most often about money, and I know it was in large part because while affording to raise two kids would’ve been a challenge, four was a whole lot harder.

Being able to control how and when we get pregnant is a health issue for women

Being able to control how and when we get pregnant is a health issue for women. It’s a vital economic issue for us. It’s also an issue of personal freedom and privacy. The right to control what goes on in our bodies is one of the core pillars of women’s liberation in modern times.

Personally, people can argue back and forth on the abortion issue, although I know where I stand: I am 100% in favor of women’s right to choose what happens to our bodies. Pro-Choice. I support a woman’s right to choose an abortion; I also support her right to choose not to have one. I further support the idea that access to healthcare should be considered a fundamental civil right for everyone. There’s actually a good chance that known, guaranteed access to healthcare might convince more than a few pregnant women they can actually cope with an unplanned pregnancy.

Yet the far right is opposed to this. I can see no other reason than a desire to make a woman’s unplanned pregnancy as painful, unpleasant, and dangerous as possible. To punish her.

To me, the right to use contraception is a no-brainer. Plus yes, I do feel that preventing a pregnancy in the first place is morally preferable to ending one.

What am I against? Well, for one, I’m definitely against panels of men forcing their misogynistic, patronizing decisions on us. Like this one.

All-male witness table at GOP hearing on birth control coverage

All-male witness table at GOP hearing on birth control coverage

Every time a man wants to mandate a medically unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound for women, I want to mandate a required manual digital prostate exam for any male who wants a Viagra prescription. For his own safety, of course. Plus a two-visit minimum and a 48 hour waiting period. And a ban on insurance coverage for it. Plus he should have to look at photos that graphically show the physical dangers of uncontrolled priapsis. (I’ll spare you the links.)

If there’s one assertion the radical fundamentalist right likes to make that needs absolute refutation, it’s that using contraception is intrinsically morally wrong. There is no non-religious philosophical or ethical justification for this position, unless one posits that a sperm cell and an unfertilized egg cell actually have more civil rights than the adult woman they happen to be inside.

That the mere potential that an egg might be fertilized is of greater value than the actuality of an adult woman and her life and health.

Writing in Esquire back in July, Charles Pierce astutely notes how the real target of the far-right conservatives isn’t abortion. It’s the right women have been enjoying since 1965: To be able to have sex without the risk of unplanned pregnancy. The right not to fear our own bodies.

The simple fact is that American women have a right that these people do not want them to have. Period. (That right is based in a right to privacy that most of these people believe is at best a constitutional confection and, at worst, an outright lie. The target always has been Griswold, not Roe.) They do not want that right exercised and they will do anything they can to keep it from being exercised, and they absolutely…will…not…stop.

I agree. The goal, as I’ve said many times, isn’t to protect unborn fetuses — because if that was the goal, pre- and post-natal healthcare would be an absolute civil right. As would pediatric care.

No, the goal is to punish women for having sex. To force us into positions of dependence and submission. To ensure that the consequences of sex — whether it was invited or compelled through violence — remain entirely upon us.

There are women who need contraceptive medication for health reasons totally unrelated to avoiding pregnancy — I was one of them. There are those who need to take it because a pregnancy could kill them. And yes, there are those of us who simply want a choice over whether we get pregnant or not, but be able also to engage in normal, natural, human sexual activity. Quite frankly, if non-reproductive sex wasn’t natural, women wouldn’t be sexually receptive throughout our monthly reproductive cycles and even after menopause.

Simply telling women “don’t have sex” isn’t an answer. And family planning is only “morally wrong” according to certain patriarchist religions, not all of them.

As far as that creepy “gyno-rape Uncle Sam” anti-Obamacare ad goes, I prefer this version – though someone ought to do a version of the ad where John Boehner, or Ken Cuccinelli, pops up between your legs.  Because you know what, I’d rather have Uncle sam down there than John Boehner and Ted Cruz.


Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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  • KingCranky

    Schlafly made a good living traveling around the country telling other women to stay at home.

    “Spiteful hypocrisy” sums it up.

  • ArthurH

    If you go to the Basitonge where they fought the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, you’ll find a restroom area where the men’s and woman’s part is separated by what seems about a 5-foot 6-inch wall. You can look over it. Graffiti on the men’s side read “When Phyllis Schlafly dies her soul will be entombed here forever.”

  • dcinsider

    That website of hers is major scary. Hates gays too, by the way. Real winner this one.

  • pappyvet

    That their real point of view is that even a zygote has rights. They do not really care. It’s about control and nothing more.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    OK so I guess I’m not sure what I wrote that you disagreed with.

  • pappyvet

    I understand the point you were trying to make and I am not trying to be insulting . My point is that they are not pro life at all, they are anti-women’s rights to their own bodies.

  • That I agree with.

  • lynchie

    All wealthy people are considered great aren’t they? Yes he has done a few nice things but he is like painting the ceiling beige

  • Yeah, but Carter’s been the greatest EX-president we’ve ever had!

  • lynchie

    We truly are the only country in the world who have elevated war and killing others to the worship of a book of fiction. We wrap both around us and any attempts to critique them are met with cries of communist, lack of patriotism and the further cries of america being a christian nation. We have a law that was passed according to the constitution which a minority want repealed. They lost two elections, the second being the chance america had to reject the law and lost and lost badly. They don’t like the man in the white house mostly because of race yet he won twice. Now we have allowed a horse turd from texas take control of the country for his own ego and we the majority are helpless. The GOP have exhibited all the trademarks of being bullies, taking their ball and going home and a refusal to act as part of a democracy.

  • If so, thanks to the beautiful spirits and wise women that have gifted me with their patience, teaching and love. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a kick ass Irishman in the justice parade!

  • lynchie

    You are on the money. They have a built in labor force. Interestingly the girls all left farm life when they could and 7 became registered nurses and the other 4 various jobs working in cities. All the boys are just like their father. The families have gotten together only occasionally because for the women there are few happy memories.

  • Clinton was one of the greatest con jobs in ages—until Obozo came along. Most Democrats still don’t get it.

  • I know. That was when the Dems began their “mustn’t annoy southern conservatives” policy. Which slowly morphed into, “Let’s court the southern conservative vote.”

    After years of solid support for the ERA (support that even the Republicans had, until the Reagan conservatives took them over), Democratic support for the amendment suddenly went mushy and then disappeared altogether.

    When Bill Clinton was elected in ’92, I knew we were getting a southern conservative Democrat. To be sure, well to the left of the increasingly loony rightist Republicans. But well to the right of what we had in the 60s and early 70s.

  • Indigo

    That slipped my mind. Now I remember why I’m habitually doubtful about that rabbit rascal.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Well, right, those are awful things and are just an extension of the conservative worldview that people should fend for themselves and if they fail it’s probably their own fault. My only point was that it’s not inherently contradictory to be pro life and pro death penalty, for reasons I elaborated below.

  • I saw that. These are perilous times.

  • I didn’t mean anything personal by it either.

  • Zorba

    No doubt!

  • Zorba

    You are a wise man, k.!

  • Whitewitch

    True true…we are indeed Tricky and so enjoy it.

  • Whitewitch

    I know about her son…and find that so sad. How awful to be a hated creature by your own mother. She is a very well paid lawyer and an truly ugly human being.

  • Whitewitch

    Yes, it is much better to live without a fear or God. My morality is determined by what is fair and just, not will please or displease an imaginary, unknown and often flawed God. It is odd that those who believe God is the creator of all things can hate those things which he is said to have created.

  • goulo

    We were boggled watching it and we felt certain that it was all a silly parody with bad actors. The Gina Loudon character seemed like an obvious parody of an unsympathetic hypocrite spouting cliched talking points, especially at the end with the pro-choice weaseling.
    Afterward I googled Gina Loudon and discovered to my surprise that she is real (and that on her website, she even linked apparently proudly(?) to that Jon Stewart clip). Truly weird.

  • You got that right Zorba!

  • She was and remains a phoney. Projecting the mom at home, she in fact was a very well paid activist lawyer and her son is gay ( and sadly working for her hateful business)

  • True, but Jimmy Carter failed to come on board to support the ERA.

  • We can thank Jimmy Carter for that debacle.

  • Zorba

    Well, they might well find that they don’t need quite as much Viagra as they thought they did. We so have more than a few tricks up our sleeves. ;-)

  • Monoceros Forth

    I think it’s saddening. I think there are a number of powerful concepts in Christianity that could have been vital and unifying forces. Yet what have we seen in practice? A religion that claims we are all equal in the eyes of God has justified inequality and ugly divisions; a religion that teaches humility produces the foulest sort of pride imaginable. I suspect it’s not merely a matter of Christian ideals being found difficult and left untried, as G. K. Chesterton once said. I suspect that the whole system is intrinsically flawed and bound to become corrupted. It was never going to work.

    It’s the very concept of salvation, I conjecture, that dooms the whole moral system to futility. Humility requires an acceptance of universal human fallibility and of uncertainty; I don’t think that this notion is compatible with any idea that one can be “saved”. But this concept of salvation is central to Christianity; there’s no avoiding it. In a sense, the concept of salvation is Christianity’s original sin, condemning it forever to decay and failure.

  • Whitewitch

    I have never though about that – you are sooo right!!! Like they say “older women do like it is the last time – cause it just might be”.

  • Zorba

    I have always thought that those old f*rt men who think that they need to have much younger women on their arms are missing out on a whole lot of things that “older” women could teach them. LOL!

  • Whitewitch

    Oh thank the Goddess I did not have to see those…too high back then!

  • pappyvet

    I cant say that I agree with that Skippy. Do you remember the debate in Tampa. The audience cheered and applauded the idea of a sick man with no insurance being left to die.
    Or the professor who was 5 years sick with Parkinson’s who was terrorized. These are the types who have shut the government down.
    They have picked for themselves a perfectly poisoned mythology that they attempt to squeeze out by wrapping it in the bible and our flag. It’s all about hateful control and their opinion being the only opinion. But there is very little of either our flag or the bible in what they do.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    There’s not a person alive whose life view doesn’t contain contradictions. We’re very complicated beings, and we understand that different situations get handled differently. A conservative might ask why a person thinks it’s OK to end the life of a zygote (yes, a couple of unaware cells) but not that of a person who killed someone in a robbery. I’ve just always found this line of argument to be a “gotcha” that doesn’t sway anyone, so I think it diminishes an article a bit to include it. But that’s just me and I don’t want to distract any further from the topic at hand.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I’d probably argue with both of your points but they’re separate and I was just talking about the first one. It’s a common refrain and I’ve never really liked it. Nothing personal!

  • Whitewitch

    How very sad eh?

  • Fetuses have to be carried to term. But children shouldn’t get adequate nutrition. Their parents shouldn’t be allowed a living wage to care for them. People should not have adequate access to affordable health care. Not to say your analysis isn’t apt in the narrow, but I don’t believe for an instant they care about life.

  • Whitewitch

    Yes, little do they know! <|;o)

  • Zorba

    Hee, hee! Little do they know about we women who are of, shall I say, a “mature” age. ;-)

  • Whitewitch

    Ohhh the stories I could tell Zorba…would curl the hair on most women’s heads. Being a woman is not an easy job for sure and until we are all equal to the men who rule us it will be thus I suppose.

    Here’s to the good fight! Good to see you again.

  • Zorba

    That was totally, totally sad and unacceptable, Whitewitch. I, too, am older, and clearly remember those days.
    Just as I start to think that we have come so far from those days, the Christianists (which Molly Ivin used to call the “Talibaptists”) raise their ugly, narrow-minded heads and fight to take us back to the Middle Ages.

  • Zorba

    Sadly, too true, caphillprof.
    I know too many younger women who take for granted many of the strides that women have made over the years (not enough strides, but better than it was).

    I am old enough to remember when birth control was much harder to get and, worse, when abortions were illegal, when desperate women sought ought illegal abortions or self-induced abortions, and many of them died, or were left maimed and unable to have children when they actually wanted them. One of my friends years ago had an illegal abortion when she was very young, and was left so messed up physically, that she could never have kids.
    And as for Griswold: exactly so. Unfortunately, we do not have Supreme Court Justices now who were as far-seeing as William O. Douglas or Arthur Goldberg. H*ll’s bells, even conservative Justice John Marshall Harlan II voted for Griswold.
    {{Sigh}} We are going backward in this country in a whole lot of ways. :-(

  • pappyvet

    Wonderful, nice to know ya ! I just heard that A police officer was reported injured after gunshots were fired at the U.S. Capitol. The ugly is starting.

  • Monoceros Forth

    She’s been around bloody forever, hasn’t she? I remember many years ago visiting the home of my former partner’s mother for the first time. His folks had been Goldwater Republicans and the spare room had rows of these cheap far-right-wing paperbacks that came out in the ’60s, the sort with lurid titles like “None Dare Call It Treason” and images of a weeping Liberty on the cover. Seemed like half of them had Schlafly’s name on the spine.

  • I think you missed the place where I remarked that the radical conservatives don’t believe people are entitled to life-saving healthcare — even those who haven’t taken lives.

    There’s your hypocrisy and contradiction.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Unless they’re white trash and proclaim to have been saved by Jesus, then they get the right back again.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I don’t find conservatives’ views on right to life vs. death penalty contradictory. I don’t agree with them, but the logic is consistant — everyone has a right to life (even a poor, defenseless little zygote! aint it cute) until they take someone’s life, then they give up that right.

  • Monoceros Forth

    I’m reminded of a line from Paul Schrader’s (good but unfathomably depressing) film Affliction, when the main character’s mother dies: “Women like this, it’s like they live their whole lives with the sound turned off, and then they’re gone.”

  • Indigo

    Omigosh! The Moral Majority! I’ve spent decades suppressing that memory. Maybe I should confront it. That was a bad crowd, a very bad crowd.

  • Whitewitch

    Hugs to your wife….it seems they would like the children of the women they have doomed to this life to be the workhands (so no illegal aliens needed). Thanks for sharing Lynchie.

  • I saw that, Pappyvet. Since you were a new commenter, your comments were held in moderation. I’ve since let ’em out of holding. :-) Thanks!

  • lynchie

    My wife came from a family of 16 brothers and sisters, parents staunch catholics. She remembers never seeing her mother not pregnant for the first 15 years of her life. Mother died an early death she was simply worn out from raising 16 but cleaning, cooking for her husband and the brood and working on the farm. 11 sisters did the menial labor brothers and her Dad drove tractors and watched the girls throw bales, plant and tend garden, put up food in the fall, do the scut work bringing in crops. Yeah, that the life all these self righteous religious zealots want. Chain her to the kitchen and the bed where they belong and when they are tired of her because their looks go marry some 20 something and do it again. Ass bags.

  • Monoceros Forth

    CROW T. ROBOT (as The Puma Man): Is there anything I should tell the people about truth and beauty?
    MIKE NELSON (as the priest Vadinho): No, I don’t think so.
    CROW: Should we love each other, or–?
    MIKE: Nah, don’t worry about it.

    This may seem like a silly and irrelevant start but trust me there’s a point to it. Maybe.

    I like to think that even the most venal and malicious Bible-thumper as at least dimly aware in rare moments: there are some moral duties that I am supposed to perform as as Christian, duties that I’m maybe not doing very well. There’s a lot of stuff in there about not killing and turning the other cheek and loving thy neighbor and not casting the first stone and so forth. It’s all really bothersome and unpleasant and it makes me feel kind of bad to think about that stuff anyway. Surely God doesn’t really care about all of that stuff? Not all to the same degree anyway. I mean, if hating people and even wanting them dead were really all that wrong then why does it feel so good?

    But then the scales fall from your eyes: obviously, if I hate people and want them dead, then really God hates them and wants them dead. After all, I’m saved, and saved people can’t possibly do anything wrong. Not all that wrong, anyway. And sure, Jesus said a bunch of stuff about forgiveness and other hippie-dippie stuff like that but he also said he was coming bearing a sword and would divide father from son and other things that sound a lot more like my kind of thinking. So maybe I’m on the right track after all.

    Now I’m not really suggesting that this sort of protracted mental arithmetic is really going on in the head of every bloodthirsty and pharisaical Jesus freak. I think it’s been more of a collective process by which certain moral precepts have been altered and amended in such a way as to take as much of the sting out of them as possible and made to apply always to others and not to oneself. The old Catholic division of sins into venial and mortal ones has been very useful here: once it’s decided that some sins are more forgivable than others then, well, you’ve got it made. The lives of “the unborn” can be made infinitely more valuable than the lives of anyone else. Sexual peccadilloes can be made infinitely more sinful than any other sins. Even as black an emotion as hatred can be made to shine like the Sun in comparison to the evils of the people you hate. Maybe it isn’t even really hatred! You don’t really hate the gay guy or the Muslim fellow or the woman on the Pill, it’s their sins you hate, and if you really feel like beating those people up or throwing them in jail to rot or straight-up murdering them then, well, really you must be performing them a service, possibly without knowing the full value of it (as Mark Twain once wrote), by saving them.

    In the end, really, even the best and the most moral among us likes to be told, “nah, don’t worry about it.” Some Christians would like us to believe that it’s the non-believers who have given themselves that ultimate moral licence. But surely it’s much more dangerous and insidious to believe not merely that there will be no afterworldly consequence for your sins but that you will actually be rewarded for them, and arguably the entire history of Christianity leading up to the consolidation of what we loosely call the American religious right has been an accumulation and refinement of doctrines–Calvin’s mad dogma of predestination, the rejection of salvation through works, the notion of being “born again”, prosperity theology–of that lead up to just that conclusion.

  • pappyvet

    Great article Sis, the sad part is that the rightwing know all this also. It’s not about truth,it’s about control.
    By the by,I left some info on your website.

  • It was, yes. In addition to the ‘Southern Strategy’, Republicans allied themselves with fundamentalist Christians, such as Jerry Falwell. (Remember the “Moral Majority” — who were neither moral nor a majority by any stretch of the imagination?)

  • caphillprof

    Other than Code Pink, I don’t see much of an active women’s movement today. It’s as if Gloria Steinem retired and disappeared decades ago.

    It’s always been about Griswold; Roe is just the excuse for those who know in their heart of hearts that they were unwanted children, and thus have a knee-jerk opposition to abortion.

    The problem now is that so many young women, even women in their 40s, have no understanding of the states ever having outlawed contraception. Obviously, without contraception available, it’s less easy to be anti-abortion and much harder to vote Republican.

  • Indigo

    That would be a part of Reaganism as I remember it.

  • I do, too.

  • Whitewitch

    Oh how strongly I dislike Mrs. Schlafly…she disgusts me. I believe she single-handly set women back 20 years…and she continues to live on and spout her ire at women. I believe she is a self-hating woman.

  • I just can’t believe it’s no longer just abortion rights we’re fighting for, but contraception itself. Shows just how much ground has been lost.

  • Whitewitch

    Early 70’s – they actually believed they were Gods with a right to tell me how to live my life…thankfully that is not as bad as it used to be…now they just lecture me to use Sunscreen (don’t believe in it ).

    Wait maybe they only lecture me re sunscreen cause I am old and they figure I am not having sex…hmmmm.

  • It was the rise of the fundamentalist/radical conservative right. The ERA was their first target, and women like Phyllis Schlafly kept raising the specter of the ERA making unisex bathrooms mandatory. Along with statements to the effect that the ERA would take away women’s “special” protections and privileges.

  • Indigo

    They don’t have a right to judge and lecture, they’re merely presumptuous and rude.

  • Indigo

    I never have understood how the ERA failed to be ratified. Reganism?

  • Whitewitch

    I hope you are right…I await the Trolls. And I forget that there are young women who don’t know the fight we have fought and might not be able to put together the pieces in realizing that the right-wing religious are not really going for abortions, but are trying to take us to No Birth Control. Case in point, in order to get my tubes tied in the early 70’s I had to have a Permission Letter from my then husband. True story, and it had to be Notarized. Not to mention the lectures from the three doctors I had to go to find someone who would do the procedure for me…goddess the lectures, as if any of them would help me support a brood of children…yet they had the right to judge and lecture.

  • Thanks Whitewitch — I’m no spring chicken myself, and I’m sure you and I are together in our remembered dismay when the Equal Rights Amendment went down in flames in the early 80s.

    As for preaching to the choir, perhaps. On the other hand, I’m expecting the possibility of a wingnut troll-swarm with this post.

    More to the point though, it’s the young women of today for whom I wrote this, and men who support women’s equality, who might not realize what’s been going on or what we’re up against.

  • Whitewitch

    And I loved how she looked of camera for someone to hand her a note card with the “correct” response to Jason, or “maybe it was the oh my god they are asking questions not on the list we gave them – HELP!!!!”

  • Whitewitch

    Excellent article Becca…sadly you are preaching to the Choir. These crazy men don’t care about your facts, because the reality is that they have the right to have sex with women and women MUST not enjoy it or quack about the resulting pregnancy. Until women have full ownership of their person, have full equality there is no changing this meme.

    I am an old woman and have been waiting for full equality a very very long time…and am frankly getting really tired of waiting.

  • Mike_in_Houston

    I wrote a lengthy editorial for the Diamondback, the University of Maryland newspaper, back in the summer of 1972 talking about how the right-to-lifers only applied that standard to unborn babies and not to the death penalty. I’m sure if I read it now I would be embarrassed as hell at it, and back then I thought it was pretty good. And after all, they did run it…

  • It’s interesting that Americans think they have a choice. If it’s not Uncle Sam it’s Corporate America.

  • dcinsider

    The Jason Jones piece is a real classic. The women he interviews is so full of crap that he cannot even stay in character and basically calls her an idiot to her face.

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