Throughout America’s history the Supreme Court and amendment process has been necessary to grant women equal rights guaranteed in the Constitution as a result of America being a patriarchal society. Today is the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling giving women the right to choose when they give birth and, like every year for over two decades, religious fanatics will protest the landmark decision. Their contention is that patriarchs in Catholic Church, not women, own the right to make reproductive choices for American women and this year their typical March for Life is a March To Ban Birth Control.
For the past six months, specifically after two rulings by the Vatican-5 on the Supreme Court identifying contraceptives as abortion, the non-profit organizing what they tout as “the world’s largest anti-abortion event” is protesting all “unnatural contraceptive methods” as abortion; an idea taken straight out of the Vatican’s Humanae Vitae that condemns any form of unnatural birth control as a mortal sin.
Six months ago the “March for Life Education and Defense Fund filed a lawsuit to exempt “all employers” from including “any type” of contraception in health insurance plans because they have identified them as abortions and violations of March for Life’s religious liberty. According to their lawsuit, March for Life contends that any employer’s health plan that covers any unnatural birth control, including oral contraception and vaginal rings they assert are “abortifacients” represent a gross violation of the organization’s religious freedom.
According to anti-choice advocates, Republicans, and March for Life, the moment of conception is a living human being; thus anything preventing implantation of a zygote (fertilized ovum) is abortion, immoral, and a mortal sin against god. The attorney’s for March for Life claim the primary goal of the group’s lawsuit is a legal challenge to the “abortion pill mandate in Obamacare.” However, the so-called “abortion pill” that terminates early stage pregnancy is not included in the ACA contraception mandate. It is a ruse to garner a court ruling banning inclusion of all forms of birth control in all employers’ health insurance prescription plans.
March for Life’s lawsuit is yet another attack on women’s right to choose due to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. As a reminder, five conservative Catholics on the High Court ruled that privately-owned religious businesses do not have to cover emergency contraceptives to protect their religious freedom and impose their religious control over their female employees. However, that ruling was not enough control and the following month the same Vatican-5 ruled that any organization with religious objections to any kind of contraception could file suit to end the inclusion of contraception in health plans. March for Life filed suit five days later; likely because in writing for the Papal-5 majority, Justice Samuel Alito agreed with Hobby Lobby’s evangelical owners that indeed, all contraceptives cause abortions, and not just emergency contraception the court banned in Hobby Lobby.
It is too bad the Vatican 5 and evangelicals failed human reproduction class in school, so following are five uncontested facts, biological and biblical, for religious fanatics seeking a ban on contraceptives. 1) Sexual intercourse is not pregnancy. 2) The moment of conception resulting in a one-celled organism (zygote) is not a fetus, not a pregnancy, and not a living human being. 3) Pregnancy is when a fertilized human egg (zygote) implants in a female’s uterine lining. 4) The termination of pregnancy typically performed within 28 weeks of gestation, like spontaneous expulsion (miscarriage) of a fetus, is an abortion. 5) According to the Christian bible, a fetus is NOT a living being until it exits the womb and breathes air. For humans with even rudimentary cognitive abilities, there cannot possibly be an abortion, whether by natural miscarriage or medical intervention, if the fertilized egg does not implant in the uterine wall. But this anti-choice movement is not about abortion, contraception, or protecting the life of an undeveloped organism; it is, and always has been, about controlling women, their sexuality, and their right to choose how they live their lives.
Many Americans shrug their shoulders and roll their eyes over the anti-choice movement’s activities, and it is certainly because they have little regard for women’s rights or believe the movement is harmless. However, the anti-choice movement is heavily-funded by the Koch brothers and subsequently the newly imposed Koch Congress is on a tear to strip away all women’s reproductive rights. It is noteworthy that the first legislation passed in the House in January was a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. A ban, by the way, that President Obama threatened to veto and at least two Republican congresswomen withdrew their support for just this week. Sadly, that is not the worst to come.
For the past two years, Republicans in the House passed legislation proclaiming that life begins at conception (zygote) only to be ignored by the then-Democratic majority Senate. Many of the newly elected Senate Republicans have called for personhood legislation mirroring the House’s “zygote is a living human with full constitutional rights” legislation with a view toward criminalizing abortion and contraceptives. In several Republican-controlled state legislatures, similar personhood legislation, including one state passing a law providing attorneys for the fetus against the mother in cases where she may be considering her legal right to an abortion.
America’s women should be grateful President Obama is the last line of defense for their continued equal rights because a Republican president would dutifully sign away their reproductive rights to evangelical maniacs. Indeed, both Willard Romney and Paul Ryan are adamant supporters of personhood legislation as well as a constitutional amendment designating a zygote a legal human being worthy of 14th Amendment rights; the mother rights would be subservient to the fetus. Romney went so far as to proclaim that contraception prevents “conception” and is therefore abortion.
This anti-women movement is an abomination that all Americans should be up-in-arms against and not blown off as ‘it can never happen here.” Most Americans likely believed that corporations would never be deemed as people with free speech rights, or that religious liberty means employers can impose their beliefs on their employees. One cannot fathom why, or when, Americans, particularly American men, are willing to sit back and allow a cabal of Catholic and evangelical clergy posing as lawmakers have free reign to dictate to their wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters how they conduct their lives. But then again one could have never imagined that after 236 years of a secular representative democracy, America would be infested and infected by a growing and powerful movement intent on creating a theocracy. Right now, the only thing preventing a Dominionist takeover of government is Barack Obama, especially since the theocratic anti-women’s movement funded by the Koch brothers now controls two-thirds of government.