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Contraception is the Absence of God - Elf M. Sternberg
Contraception is the Absence of God
I was reading an article the other day on a judge's ruling that Plan-B, the after-sex contraception, be made available to everyone, regardless of age. In his ruling, he stated that Katheryn Sebelius's almost un-heard of political overturning of the FDA's own recommendation that it be made available over the counter was political, uninformed, and contrary to the public good.

In the responses, one of the complaints was that "children should not have access to abortion drugs without their parents' knowledge." This dredged up memories of the recent case of Hobby Lobby, the toy retailer, which argued that it shouldn't be forced to provide contraception because it was the same thing as abortion. When the judge informed HL's lawyer that contraception and abortion were not the same, the laywer responded with a straight face, "It is my client's sincere belief that they are the same thing, your honor."

Have you ever read Ted Chiang's short story, Hell Is The Absence of God? In it, angels are real, show up at random, do random stuff that either heals or (more often) fucks up the lives of people in the area. The few times they've responded to questions, their response has been "He works in mysterious ways. You wouldn't understand why. Just love Him, and all will be well." And then they go on wrecking towns and lives.

The story presents a reified version of the fundamentalist mindset. Everything Happens for a Reason of God's, Even If You Don't Understand It.

And then it clicked: after every incident of intercourse, a woman is presumed pregnant until proven otherwise. Because she's presumed pregnant, every form of contraception is abortion. Since rape is the one thing fundamentalists can no longer call "intercourse," the accomodation made is that real rape can't lead to the consequence of intercourse, the presumption of pregnancy.

Another powerful fundamentalist mindset is that we must head for a godly world. It doesn't matter if people get hurt along the way; it doesn't matter if pro-sex, pro-contraception policies would alleviate teenage pregnancy by some amount; they lead away from the Godly world and the true aim, which is making unmarried pregnancy non-existent.

The whole anti-contraception, "legitimate rape" argument emerges from the synergistic effects of these thoughts in the fevered brains of fundamentalist men. The only way sex does not lead to pregnancy is if God doesn't want it to, or if someone does something criminal. In their perfect world, that would always be the case. Always.

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grail76 From: grail76 Date: April 8th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
When John McCain was running for president, he made references to "The health of the woman," as this big excuse. Most husbands would say that "The health of the woman," i.e. his wife, was a very important thing. McCain saw it as a way to slip past the anti-abortion rules.
Now, clearly there are times when a woman's health is desperately in peril, but admitting that as the point under discussion weakens their case and they live with the thought of babies being put to death. Their view is slanted, but no one ever likes to admit the weakness of their point. They want to have a way to argue when the facts are more in their favor.
Instead of a woman with heart problems who may die if she allows her pregnancy to go to term, they want to imagine a woman who doesn't care for herself or her baby and who uses any excuse to terminate the pregnancy.

Extremists are not very good at seeing any shades of gray.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: April 9th, 2013 09:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Because God wants sex to be exclusively for the purpose of causing pregnancy, and God wants every woman to be pregnant as much of the time as it's medically possible. How do they know what God wants? It's right here in the holy book, written by God himself... oh, oops, it's not in the book?
athgarvan From: athgarvan Date: April 9th, 2013 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)
How ignorant and stupid people have been for the last thousands of years. Isn't great that we now have such intelligent and learned people who can throw light on all these moral problems for us!
mikstera From: mikstera Date: April 10th, 2013 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
It isn't that they were necessarily ignorant and stupid (though may were).

It's that they lacked our richness of resources, or knowledge, and the options available to people today.

What is ignorant and stupid is to insist that we deny the fact that we have more resources, knowledge, or options than did our Bronze Age ancestors.

Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that such a denial is immoral, irrational, and contrary to civilization itself. I'm looking at you, Taliban, and your emulators.

Db Story From: Db Story Date: April 14th, 2013 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)

About that Constitution

Funny, isn't it, how there isn't a word about Abortion in the entire U.S. Constitution and yet the fight to protect it by those claiming to the the strongest Constitutional defenders is as if it were at the very top of The Bill of Rights.

And in the meantime, Shall not be infringed rights to gun ownership are clearly spelled out and there is a national frenzy by these same self-appointed Constitutional guardians to tear those rights down at every turn.

It's like living our own Inverted World.
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