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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Misdirection for Ricky

by digby

Kathryn Lopez says that Rick Santorum is misunderstood. He's not really "coming for your birth control." He just doesn't think you have a right to use it:
What Santorum has said is that the Supreme Court’s 1965 decision in Griswold v. Connecticut — which dealt with a case that was a Planned Parenthood official’s stunt — was a bad precedent and bad law. It created a constitutional right for married persons to use contraceptives. Writing for the majority, Justice William O. Douglas declared that ”specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance,” and that “various [of these] guarantees create zones of privacy.” That would be the basis for the Roe decision eight years later, which relied on a similar constitutional stretch.

Santorum’s is a perfectly sound opinion. Why is it such a threat that some feel the need to make his position into something much more than it is
Why is it a sound opinion? I don't know. She doesn't say.

What she does say is that Santorum has the courage of his convictions and that he is willing to talk about them.But don't worry, just because he said he was going to talk about these issues from the presidential bully pulpit and make it part of the national conversation doesn't mean that he's going to have anationwide lecture because he won't propose any legislation. So that's good. Plus he'd be a "friend to sex-ed programs that don't give out condoms." (I'm fairly sure that's right.)

She doesn't mention the other thing that Santorum said, which is that he thinks states have a right to ban birth control. So, while she may be technically correct that Santorum will not personally be rummaging around in your nightstand, he's perfectly willing for others to do it. Indeed, he explicitly said they should.

But here's what interests me the most about Lopez' piece:

There’s something else worth noting. While it wouldn’t be wise for the president of the United States to launch a lecture campaign (we get way too much of that from the current president) on so intimate an issue, Santorum’s view is not as fringy as it is often portrayed. Obviously, Santorum is informed by his Catholic faith on this issue, but, in recent years, we’ve had the testimony of women who realize the damage contraception has done in their lives and relationships. A New York magazine cover story marking the anniversary of the Pill included the following:

One anxiety — Am I pregnant? — is replaced by another: Can I get pregnant? The days of gobbling down the Pill and running out to CVS at 3 a.m. for a pregnancy test recede in the distance, replaced by a new set of obsessions. The Pill didn’t create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry. Inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the Pill’s primary side effect.

She's mischaracterizing the (very silly) article, which suggested that using birth control is causing infertility --- because women are waiting too long to get pregnant. It's idiotic but I'm guessing it's the next big paternalistic ploy by the forced childbirth brigades --- too many dizzy gals are damaged by waiting too long to conceive that the choice must be taken out of their flighty little hands.

She goes on to complain about having to pay for birth control --- which is going to be the hook these zealots will use to whittle away at women's access and then ends with this:

In this campaign, Rick Santorum has not been lecturing us about so-called social issues. But he gets asked about them, and he answers honestly. Can’t we be honest about what he is saying?
Here's what he's saying (go to the end):

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"The state has a right to [make a law outlawing the right of married people to use birth control], I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have.

And he explained very thoroughly elsewhere that he believes birth control is wrong unless sex is procreative it "becomes deconstructed to the point where it's simply pleasure."

I think we understand him very well.