To Anti-Choice Zealots, Abortion and Contraception Are the Same Thing

You may not have noticed, but if you ever use birth control you are a "battering ram" for a dangerously pagan society. The reproductive rights folks have long warned that the most profoundly committed "pro-life" advocates actually want to end legal contraception, rolling us back to the pre-Margaret Sanger days when selling condoms through the mail could land you in federal prison. That's true of the Catholic Church, of course, whose philosophy of sex grows from Augustine's belief that its only justification is making babies; sexual pleasure is a distraction from God. But Jeffrey T. Kuhner of the Edmund Burke Institute this summer made it clear that opposing abortion and contraception are the same thing:

[L]iberals want to create a world without God and sexual permissiveness is their battering ram. Promoting widespread contraception is essential to forging a pagan society based on consequence-free sex. ... Contraception violates the natural moral order. It decouples sexual intercourse from its main purpose: procreation. It entrenches the hedonistic ethic that sex is about recreation and individual gratification. It strikes at the very heart of a functioning, self-renewing civilization - having children and perpetuating one generation to another. This is why practically every major religion and most cultures have rightly believed that birth control, pornography, homosexuality and adultery are wrong. They threaten the basic institution of society: the traditional family. The family existed before the state; its importance transcends the state. Hence, our ancestors understood that moral standards must be upheld, not demolished. The breakdown of the family inevitably leads to social collapse.

The "traditional family" forces (I promise I will take that phrase down another day) won a little-noticed court victory yesterday. Mississippi's top court declared that the state's proposed "Personhood Amendment" can be on this November's ballot. The various "personhood" initiatives would codify in law the idea that the second a sperm hits an egg -- even before that cell divides into two -- it has all the rights of a fully developed human being. In turn, that would outlaw IUDs, the morning-after pill (which prevents implantation into the uterus), and other contraceptive methods.

Yup, in a state that's dead last, or nearly so, on every measure of economic health and social well-being, from education to obesity to income, what matters is ensuring that every time a sperm meets an egg, it's a protected person. Remember Barney Frank's quip that Republicans are pro-life from conception until birth?

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