yesterday, i reluctantly started to research the presidential candidates and what they think about a woman controlling her own fertility. i discovered they suck. republicans, predictably, suck more, but the dems aren't particularly better. (i'll cover the dems later.)
giuliani - meh. he could be totally uninterested in overturning Roe v. Wade, but his recent suck up to the religious right makes my left ass cheek twitch. he also says he 'hates' abortions and would rather states made their own decisions. i think we already know that 'state's rights' is code for 'horrific, regressive social policy.' woe betide the woman who lives in a backassward state filled with baptist zealots.
huckabee - speaking of baptist zealots, candidate huckabee is one dedicated anti-choicer. not only does he want to overturn Roe v. Wade, his ideal world is one in which anti-choice idealogues hold positions of power in his administration, all pro-choice legislation would be vetoed, contraception is neither available nor taught, 'life begins at conception' and abstinence becomes public health policy and 'unborn children' carry more rights than living, breathing women. lovely.
hunter - who? if you take a huckabee and add a dukakis hairdo, you get duncan hunter, a man who wants to 'provide blanket protection to all unborn children from the moment of conception.' it just gets worse from there. his views on 'life' are here. what does he think about birth control? if he thinks a person is a person at conception, i don't really see him being a big fan of anything that prevents...person-making.
mccain - eh. i want to like the man but if he can't figure out if contraceptives prevent the spread of HIV, how can i trust him to be thoughtful about a woman's right to control her own fertility? (nevermind his whole stance on reproductive freedom is rather restrictive.)
paul - who can tell me what a 'pro-life libertarian' is? like huckabee and hunter, he believes a fertilized egg is a person, doesn't want to fund int'l family planning, supports a federal abortion ban but says EC is ok. he doesn't think abortion is a private matter and that abortions are an uneccessary answer to social ills. (whatever that means.) will he respect the right of a woman to control her fertility as she sees fit? i doubt it.
romney - i used to think that the fundies would shun a guy whose doctrine is so clearly extant from the literal bible, but the fundies surprised me; they're not so ideologically pure, after all. again, we have a candidate who seems to have failed simply biology. he, too, wants a fertilized egg to be called a person and thinks that birth control pills are 'abortive drugs.' the man's an idiot and i don't want his political hands on my private parts.
tancredo - by now my head is spinning from reading about all the idiotic men who want to run this country and make decisions about my health and body for me. tancredo thinks so-called 'crisis pregnancy centers' (that offer no medical care other than showing you an ultra-sound and telling you not to kill your 'baby') are preferable to Planned Parenthood centers (that actually offer healthcare services), which he wants to de-fund. the many low-income women who are served by Planned Parenthood thank you, candidate tancredo.
thompson - somehow, the schiavo case warranted a respect of privacy but his support of anti-choice legislation and ideologies says that a woman's fertility does not. thanks, fred.
these candidates' opposition to abortion comes as no real surprise; the more the GOP panders to the socially conservative values of the anti-woman religious right, the more we'll see republican candidates morphing into political dimmesdales, all the more willing to emblazon women with a great big scarlet A. what is surprising is the speed with which their moralizing gazes are turning to birth control.
years ago, i predicted the right wouldn't quit with abortion rights and birth control would be next; from experience i know the mind of a fundamentalist is narrow and can find still more ways to restrict pleasure and inflict punishment. but i still held out hope that modern politicians were reasonable people who knew that certain things are a good idea: birth control benefits everyone. clearly, my hope was misplaced.
i'll just come out with it: reproductive justice issues are my litmus test for this election. more than iraq, more than foreign policy, more than the environment, more than poverty, more than education, more than healthcare - protecting the borders of my physical body and my autonomy is my 'single issue.' the big boys of political strategy may not like 'single issue' advocacy, but it's not their bodies they have to protect. it seems the boys of political punditry and strategy care about bodies when it's war.
for me, this is war.