The battle to ban birth control
Lorie Johnson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:33:26 AM EST
Here's an extensive Salon  story about the battle of anti-abortion forces against contraception. You'll need either a subscription or day pass to read it, but it's a great article.

The crux:

For those who are pro-choice, the idea of fighting to ban both abortion and contraception seems contradictory: Contraception, after all, lessens the number of abortions. But once one understands what the true social and moral agenda of activists like Worthington is, and their attitude toward sexuality, the contradictions vanish. For them, sex should always be about procreation; since contraception prevents conception, it is immoral. At a deeper level, they believe that women's biological destiny is to be mothers.

Feldt says, "When you peel back the layers of the anti-choice motivation, it always comes back to two things: What is the nature and purpose of human sexuality? And second, what is the role of women in the world?" Sex and the role of women are inextricably linked, because "if you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men."

Translation: They hate women. And sex. And they really hate women with the power to determine their sexual and reproductive destiny. They want to take that away from us.

They can't stand what they can't control. That's why they oppose birth control, women's rights, and so many other things that we value these days. My wife and I just had a book published called "Department of Homeland Decency: Decency Rules and Regulations Manual" that satirizes all this. We hope we can laugh until we get these people out of power. What they want is to take us back to a simpler time. A time where:

"Men worked all day without overtime or Social Security. They were fit and strong and paid their debts on time and didn't go to government offices for handouts if they lost their jobs or were injured while performing them. They raised large families with their wives and didn't expect others to pay for their health care. Good and decent, they lived their decent lives to the fullest, until one day - from God-given exhaustion - they would fall over dead. They didn't linger, whine, or sue anyone over the unfairness of it all.  They just dropped dead and went on to their eternal reward.

"Their wives were just as decent. They stayed home and cooked and cleaned and made themselves look pretty for their husbands, just as our Intelligent Designer intended them to do. They did not complain about their numerous household and child-rearing duties. Nor did they ever find anything but joy in being pregnant over and over again. And when their men fell over dead suddenly, leaving them no pension or bank account, they didn't go to the government expecting money for nothing. They took in sewing to make ends meet, all while raising their children to become decent hard-working, non-complaining adults.

"The children of these decent parents grew up to be decent. They did what they were told, spoke only when spoken to and didn't pierce their body parts. They understood they could be spanked repeatedly because it was their parents' right and obligation to do so. Spanking, when administered through the benevolent authority of a decent man, always turned children into decent adults."

The past may never have been that simple, but that is the kind of future they want for most of us.

by bfranky on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 03:29:51 PM EST

Got a link to your book? I'd love to read it- just for the snarky factor. Sadly, there will be people who will take it seriously.

Laughter is our best weapon in times like these.

by Lorie Johnson on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:24:17 PM EST

Thanks for asking. Try the address below. My wife and I have believed since Bush was elected that one of the unspoken items on their agenda was the end of effective birth control. Things have certainly changed in just five years.

by bfranky on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:40:17 AM EST

Then, there's The Petition to Repeal The 19th Amendment

The following sums up this mentality. The original copy of the quote below had a number of links which seemed to be references to allegedly sustantiating material but none of the links worked and so I didn't bother replicating them here.

[ source ] "The Nineteenth Amendment caused government spending to skyrocket, which converted the United States, its Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, into a totalitarian state.  Professor John Lott of the Law School University of Chicago proved statistically that it was women's suffrage, and nothing else, which caused this unbridled government growth.  Spending too much for government destroyed private property rights, plunged the US into huge debts and destroyed Personal Savings.   Professor Lott demonstrated that the reason the increase in federal expenditures resulting from the First World War didn't return to its previous historic level was due solely to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1921.  This unbridled government growth is why one third of the men in the world who are behind bars are American men, why an American man is 1,000 times more likely than a Japanese or an Italian or a Greek man to be convicted of rape, why more Americans per capita are incarcerated for just drinking and driving than Japanese are for all crimes combined even though a non-drinking woman driver is five times more likely to have a fatal accident than a drinking man driver, why existing adultery and sodomy laws are not upheld, and why the US is the only industrialized nation with a negative Personal Savings rate.

Until the Nineteenth Amendment is repealed, Christian women are invited to sign the following proxy statement, file it with their local county recorder, and fax the signed statement to 866 721 5995:

    "I, as a submissive woman of God, and of sound mind, do hereby give my vote to this man offlower.gif (48918 bytes) God: ______ to exercise for the glory of Yahvh, our Creator. I make this statement publickly as an example for other godly women to emulate, and for the edification of the world through which we are passing.

    I make this statement bona fide dei gratia, for Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen."

    Signed: _________

    Sponsored by: Women for God's Law"

I've run across one female state legislator associated with the Christian right - in either Kansas or Oklahoma - who believes that the 19th Amendment should be repealed. It's very odd when a female politician holds such views. Indeed, it's bizarre.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:54:17 PM EST

Is the The Petition to Repeal The 19th Amendment for real or a hoax?

by Joan Bokaer on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:37:05 PM EST
I'm afraid it's quite real--admittedly, though, the site hosting aforementioned petition is a site promoting Christian Identity (up to and including promoting Holocaust revisionism and even proposing shipping every African-American out of the country).  (As a note, the original petition drive may have started among the part of the dominionist community with close links to racists but has since spread.)

But yes, there's actually a movement to literally disenfranchise women (as in a de-suffrage movement):

Talk forum calls for revoking 19th Amendment in context of abortion
early attempts to challenge validity of 19th Amendment (similar examples are used by "tax protesters" in the "Christian militia" movement)
report from feminist group on how movement to repeal 19th Amendment is being promoted by "father's rights" groups supported in dominionist community
a secondary copy of the petition to repeal the 19th Amendment, dating from the late 1990's
dominionist site essentially claiming that early advocates of Suffrage were devil worshippers (actually spiritualists, but spiritualism is explicitly equated with Satanism in most dominionist groups)
article detailing history of "Father's Manifesto" (aka the petition) and its links to racist groups
more info from a watchdog group which includes archives of the mailinglist for the writer of the "Father's Manifesto" (who is, as it turns out, active in dominionist groups including Promise Keepers)
further posts by group which include threats against judges

Lest one think this opinion is a fringe opinion even among dominionists, several groups have not only stated husbands should tell their wives how to vote but--in the notable case of a dominionist "parent's ministry" operated by the Pearls that is now linked to the literal "death by chastening rod" of a child and the possible maiming of another--they have even flat out told a woman writing to their advice column that it is her husband's decision, not hers, whether she is to go on birth control.

Interestingly, at least one woman in public office who is known to be very friendly towards dominionist causes has claimed women should have their right to vote removed--a platform that would, ironically, leave her out of a job.  

And no less than the Southern Baptist Convention has officially issued statements for women to "submit" to their husbands and their judgements; other groups more firmly into "dominion theology" tend to be worse with women literally having little say over anything.  

by dogemperor on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 06:50:16 PM EST

In solidarity :

It is incumbent upon we few on this forum to draw this unavoidable conclusion - the war against abortion rights is the war against birth control is the war on the right of women to vote is the war against Democracy is the war against the Enlightenment is the war against science, modernity, and against human reason itself - whether that is God given or not.


by Bruce Wilson on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 08:44:06 PM EST

the war against abortion rights is the war against birth control is the war on the right of women to vote is the war against Democracy is the war against the Enlightenment is the war against science, modernity, and against human reason itself - whether that is God given or not.

Where can I get the T-shirt?

by moiv on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:19:58 PM EST

I read the article over the weekend, and it's well worth anyone's time to click on the "day pass" ad at Salon and read the whole thing.

by moiv on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:22:54 PM EST

When organizations like this push a radical agenda and win a victory, I always ask, "What next?"  There is never a specific point where they will be satisfied.  Even if they win everything they want and actually manage to somehow repeal the 19th amendment, ban all birth control, and relegate women back to being chatel there will still be a push for something else.  Perhaps at that point these radical religious idiots will want to make it legal to kill their wives rather than have to divorce them for not producing a male heir.  

Their push so far to ban birth control hasn't reached the military from what I've seen although Tri-Care did go to a more generic birth control pill recently to save on costs.  I haven't heard any feedback on it's effectiveness.  I wonder when these groups will set their sites on us and try to make it impossible for women in the military and female dependents to have access?  Our pharmacists are usually military and so are bound by military law to dispense medication without prejudice.  We'll see how long this lasts.

by Ross Raymond on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:41:50 AM EST

If you want a concept of just how far they DO want to go, look no further than an article I recently posted on death by "chastening rod" by popular dominionist "child experts" Michael and Debbie Pearl.

Among other things:

a) women are explicitly advised by them not to divorce their husbands even if the spouse in question is sexually abusing their own children "because God hates divorce, always"

b) women who are at all in disagreement with their husband or his "Godly leadership" of their home are literally described as demon possessed (specifically claiming they have a "Jezebel spirit") and are directly disobeying God (and may be in need of an involuntary exorcism)

c) women do not even have the right over their own bodies in regards to the number of children they may have (an advice column--in answer to a woman who ironically wanted to have more children and her husband wished  her to go on birth control--literally told the writer it was her husband's decision and not her own as to whether she was to go on birth control)

d) have used scripture-twisting to make a claim--common in pentecostal dominionist circles in particular--that women must submit to men as men submit to God (without including the full chapter, which also states that men must be an equal partner in marriage and must submit in some things as well)

Mind, this is from the same bunch of folks whose so-called childrearing manuals (which have advocated beating a seven-month-old child with a 1/4" thick length of PVC plumbing pipe for the crime of waking up and crying for Mother) have directly resulted in the death of one child, the maiming of a second child in the same family, and a number of child abuse investigations nationwide.

by dogemperor on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 09:21:59 PM EST

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