Republican state Rep. Brent Crane, Assistant Majority Leader for Idaho’s House of Representatives, gave a jawdropping TV interview on Friday in which he openly admitted that his caucus would consider banning certain forms of birth control, including Plan B emergency contraception and intrauterine devices (IUDs), in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Crane, who boasted that he’s passed or worked on 17 anti-abortion bills in the state legislature, told Idaho Reports that he “probably would” hear legislation banning the morning-after pill, and possibly IUDs as well. “I’m not certain where I would be on that issue,” he said of the latter method—as if the idea of birth control remaining legal in America, while you’re also criminalizing abortion, is a really difficult question.
Of course, we’ve all known for some time that Republicans weren’t going to stop at banning abortion—even some U.S. senators have warned that they’re coming for birth control next. But the GOP has adamantly insisted, over and over, that they are not after contraception. The day after the SCOTUS draft decision on abortion leaked Monday evening, the National Republican Senatorial Committee circulated a list of emphatic talking points for Republican lawmakers to use in response to “potential attacks from Democrats.” This list includes the bullet point: “Republicans DO NOT want to take away contraception.”
Looks like they didn’t get to Crane in time to shut him up.
Later in the same interview, journalist Melissa Davlin asks Crane whether the state Republican Party has considered ways to support people who are facing unplanned pregnancies in the wake of abortion, and potentially some kinds of birth control, being banned. Are they planning to boost social services?
Crane responded bluntly: “As far as a caucus, have we had that discussion? No.”
He added that there are plenty of crisis pregnancy centers around Idaho, with more expected to “spring up across the state,” that can support women who are being forced to carry pregnancies to term. Crisis pregnancy centers, for those not in the know, are faith-based pop-ups masquerading as medical clinics whose entire purpose is to convince women not to have abortions or use any kind of contraception. One CPC counselor in Virginia told an undercover researcher that condoms are “naturally porous” and can’t prevent STDs, and that birth control often causes hair loss, memory loss, and breast cancer. [None of these things are true.]
Sometimes CPCs will even cloak their unlicensed staffers in medical garb to make them look like actual nurses or doctors, when they are not. Their whole business model relies on deception.
Needless to say, pointing at CPCs as your big idea to support people the government is forcing to give birth—in lieu of, say, universal health care, affordable pre-K, food stamp programs, child tax credits, paid family and medical leave, raising the minimum wage, and on and on—is the least helpful possible thing to say.
And if you think Crane is an outlier in the Republican Party, you haven’t been paying attention. This is exactly where the anti-abortion movement, and the GOP writ large, is headed after the fall of Roe.