There used to be a commonplace phrase heard in the ‘80s and ‘90s about Conservative Republicans: “They only care about the child before it’s born.” What it referred to, of course, was the idea that they were focused only on eliminating the right to abortion to save the unborn child, but they wanted to slash social programs that would help families stay out of poverty once the child was born. I heard it so often that although I didn’t disagree with the sentiment, it began to feel cliché, simplistic, and unsophisticated. However, I have recently found myself muttering a version of it in regard to the infuriating and disingenuous attacks on Planned Parenthood. I won’t bother to debunk the videos that Carly Fiorina and so many others keep touting as proof of the horrendous deeds of Planned Parenthood. Others have done a better job of that than I could. And I won’t scream (though I very much want to) about how it is that the issue of Cecile Richards’ pay has come up during the sham of hearings about those supposedly horrendous deeds. I won’t even point out the ridiculousness of that Congressman who didn’t understand the concept of a gynecologist’s giving a referral for a radiological procedure rather than just performing a mammogram right there in her office—and then reading the mammogram, because of course she also has a specialty in radiology. Nor will I discuss that same Congressman’s idiotic and specious chart of lines intersecting to form an “x.” Rather, I just want to spend a moment pointing out the rather simplistic hypocrisy of the thinking of those who want to defund Planned Parenthood:
- They want to take away the only access to health care that many women (and men) have.
- For these same women and men, they want to take away access to the only reliable forms of contraception that women have complete control over.
- They want to eliminate all access to abortion for any reason.
- They want to destroy the Affordable Care Act.
- See 1 and 4 and consider where the pregnant women are going to receive prenatal care.
- See 4 and consider how many of these parents will get pediatric care.
- Of course there are a host of other programs for women, children, and families that they want to slash.
- And by the way, divorce is bad. So don’t have nonprocreative sex even in marriage—but, yeah, have a happy marriage, anyway—or at least don’t split up.
They can argue that all of this is about their desire to eliminate abortions (what they don’t seem to understand, of course, is that those of us who support legalized abortion don’t like abortion—we just see the need for it to be legal). But what really underlies all of this is the desire to control women’s bodies and their sexuality. Actually, just control women. Essentially, women shouldn’t be having sex if they don’t want to have babies. Oh, and yeah, since men can’t be expected to control their sexual desires and impulses, in this one instance, women need to exert control—don’t let the men in your lives have sex with you.