Hillary Clinton has vowed to fight last week's ludicrous leaked memo from the Bush administration, which sought to define birth control as abortion. As you may recall, the memo "proposes to define abortion as 'any of the various procedures - including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action - that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." On Friday, Clinton called this plan a "gratuitous, unnecessary insult" to women, and, according to Reuters, New York representative Nita Lowey added, "We will not put up with this radical, ideological agenda to turn the clock back on women's rights."
The Bush administration's proposed law is meant to allow health care professionals to refuse to give women birth control for "religious reasons," which could actually end up hurting a lot of anti-choice people. And as anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of women's health knows, birth control is prescribed for many reasons other than the prevention of pregnancy. I imagine that many women who don't believe in birth control or abortion still suffer from uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and the scads of other disorders that are alleviated by birth control pills. Just like this commenter, who noted, "I'm Catholic as they get, and I didn't use birth control for my own (my own!) moral and religious reasons - I would have never foisted my beliefs on others, though, and have plenty of friends who tell me about their choices without me getting preachy. Then it turns out I have to take Ortho Tri Cyclen for a grave medical problem - the Catholics are okay with that. Ironies of ironies, I get a pharmacist who won't dispense because of his morality. I went on a furious rant about privacy, how he doesn't know why I'm taking this medicine and I don't need him in my bedroom, etc. I thought about telling him that I was way Catholic and pointing out my Mary medal, but that just felt wrong and desperate and none of his business. None. Of. His. Business."
Anyway, according to a new poll from Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times, the country's views on abortion have remained virtually unchanged since Roe vs. Wade was passed 35 years ago. "Young Americans' views were almost identical to those of their mothers and fathers: About one-third said it should be available, one-third said it should be outlawed, and one in five said it should be legal with stricter limits." Despite the fact that the pro-choice movement is not necessarily growing, the International Herald Tribune points out that "The only time a deeply divided public comes down clearly on one side is when it appears the other side is gaining an important advantage." Which means, hopefully, that an outraged bunch of Americans would never let a law like Bush's anti-birth control proposal pass.
Clinton Vows To Fight "Insulting" Abortion Plan [Reuters]
Abortion, Remarkably, Remains An Issue In U.S. Politics [IHT via Bloomberg]