Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What a lovely way of sayin' how much you love me

It's been obvious for some time that the Religious Right has its eyes set on what they perceive as a really big prize:
In a spectacular act of complicity with the religious right, the Department of Health and Human Services Monday released a proposal that allows any federal grant recipient to obstruct a woman's access to contraception. In order to do this, the Department is attempting to redefine many forms of contraception, the birth control 40% of Americans use, as abortion. Doing so protects extremists under the Weldon and Church amendments. Those laws prohibit federal grant recipients from requiring employees to help provide or refer for abortion services. The "Definitions" section of the HHS proposal states,
Abortion: An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are two commonly held views on the question of when a pregnancy begins. Some consider a pregnancy to begin at conception (that is, the fertilization of the egg by the sperm), while others consider it to begin with implantation (when the embryo implants in the lining of the uterus). A 2001 Zogby International American Values poll revealed that 49% of Americans believe that human life begins at conception. Presumably many who hold this belief think that any action that destroys human life after conception is the termination of a pregnancy, and so would be included in their definition of the term "abortion." Those who believe pregnancy begins at implantation believe the term "abortion" only includes the destruction of a human being after it has implanted in the lining of the uterus.

In other words, they're going not only for Roe v. Wade, but Griswold v. Connecticut:
Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), [1] was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives. By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy".

Yep, that's right. It was only 43 years ago that the Supremes said that humans had the right to use contraception. This is on the radar of the Right. When they talk about Supreme Court judges, this is the subtext. When they talk about "strict constructionist" judges, they mean judges who believe you and I have no inherent right to privacy.