From RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/02/20/grasping-antichoice-about-more-abortion
By Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
Amanda Marcotte has an excellent Blog at: http://pandagon.net/
February 22, 2011
The mainstream media has always, shall we say, struggled to understand that the anti-choice movement is anti-contraception, anti-STD prevention, and anti-sex education. It just doesn’t fit the official narrative, which posits that anti-choicers are somehow “pro-life,” people who are deeply invested in fetal life, but who, for some mysterious reason, mostly don’t extend their concern for life into opposition to war or support for life-saving health insurance reform. Even in explicitly pro-choice media outlets, the narrative tends to be about abortion, without little acknowledgment that attacks on contraception are part of the larger agenda of the anti-choice movement, even as news stories about abstinence-only and conscience clauses keep trickling out.
This was by anti-choice design. Anti-choicers realize that if they make their arguments about sex and female liberation, and especially if they attack contraception overtly, they lose. Contraception is just too mainstream and too popular, and 95 percent of Americans have premarital sex, making the anti-choice view (roughly, strictly controlled sex within heterosexual marriage should be the only legally sanctioned sex) a form of crankery that surpasses even theories that the moon landing was faked or that 9/11 was an inside job. But by fronting on fetuses, anti-choicers get taken seriously in the mainstream media, and have been able to get to a point where they basically control the conservative movement. And lately, with victories on both state and federal levels, they’ve been feeling invincible. Which led where hubris often does, to overplaying your hand and exposing your true self to the public.
The House using the continuing resolution as an opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood is a classic example of overreach that exposes someone’s true motivations. The cuts to Planned Parenthood are an attack strictly on contraception, cancer and STD screening, and other non-abortion services. But it was clear that anti-choice Republicans thought they could still play the game of calling everything they don’t like “abortion,” and figuring they could get away with it. Even though the cuts had nothing to do with abortion, supporters of the cuts kept yammering on about abortion in the hopes that people wouldn’t notice that they were giving a big kiss to the radical and tiny minority of Americans that oppose contraception.
It’s not working this time. Even though most media organizations are still filing this one under “abortion,” the actual content of the reports focused on the fact that this was about contraception. The Twitter hashtag #thanksPPFA lit up again with women and men sharing stories of getting contraception, cancer screening (and treatment), and general health care from Planned Parenthood. Bloggers spoke out about their experiences. Hiding our heads in the sand and pretending this was about “life” was no longer an option when the policy was a direct assault on access to contraception for millions of people, a move that will hurt men and children, but is clearly at its heart a war on women.