Truthdig - The Greatest Threat to Choice
By Chris Hedges
By Chris Hedges
The relentless drive against abortion by the Christian right—the first salvo having been fired with the 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision last month to uphold the federal ban on the procedure known as “partial birth abortion”—has nothing to do with the protection of life. It is, rather, a cover for a wider and more pernicious assault against the ability of women to control their own bodies, the use of contraception and sexual pleasure.
The movement openly conflates contraceptives with devices or substances that cause abortion. It holds up as heroes of “conscience” those pharmacists who refuse to sell contraceptives. It works to block over-the-counter sales of Plan B emergency contraceptive pills.
It peddles, with hundreds of millions in tax dollars handed to the movement by the Bush administration, abstinence-only sex-ed curricula and opposes a vaccine against the HPV virus, the major cause of cervical cancer, claiming it would promote promiscuity.
The denial of contraception, as is well documented, increases the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. And abortion is never going to go away. If it again becomes illegal, the rich, as in the past, will find ways to provide abortions for their wives, mistresses and girlfriends, and the poor will die in unhygienic back rooms. But since this is a war with a wider agenda, abortion statistics and facts do not count.
The Christian right fears pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, which it sees as degrading, corrupting and tainted. For many, their own experiences with sex—coupled with their descent into addictions and often sexual and domestic abuse before they found Christ—have led them to build a movement that creates an external rigidity to cope with the chaos of human existence, a chaos that overwhelmed them.
They do not trust their own urges, their capacity for self-restraint or judgment. The Christian right permits its followers to project evil outward, a convenient escape for people unable to face the darkness and the psychological torments within them...