Monday, May 05, 2008

learning to pick your battles

Via Cristina Page there's news that people opposing birth control are planning to protest the anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the court decision that guaranteed the right for married women to use birth control by recognizing an implicit constitutional right to privacy. Frankly, this is a protest that I just don't understand, and I mean that in the strategic sense. I don't understand why anyone would take up this fight.

Now I can understand, tactically speaking, waging a campaign to ban abortion, even though I don't agree with it ethically or politically. The procedure is visually disturbing and the idea of people having it done "wantonly" offends a lot of people. Even for the people who want it to be legal, it's not something you could ever call "popular," and virtually nobody is willing to mount an unqualified defense of the practice. It's pretty easy to gin up support for a movement to "get the sluts to take responsibility for their actions instead of killing their children."

Birth control gets a might trickier, though, as you're now talking about something that just about everyone uses or has used at some point in their lives. Condoms, for all that can be said about sensitivity and having to apply at awkward moments and whatnot, have saved a lot of people a lot of heartache, not to mention a lot of lives, and that's before we even bring up The Pill. We didn't pass over medications curing all manner of diseases and helping us sleep and focus and stop seeing hallucinations in favor giving the oral contraceptive the moniker of "The Pill," for nothing: The Pill is a magical thing. It prevents pregnancy with extremely high efficiency. Using The Pill lessens the need to stop in the middle of the warm-up to fiddle with other contraptions and jellies and whatnot (assuming, of course, you two are safe STD-wise). It regulates menstrual cycles. It decreases your chances of developing ovarian and endometrial cancer. It can even reduce acne, for Christ's sake! I mean, my God, the only people who love The Pill more than men are women! Trying to get people to support a movement banning The Pill is no easy thing.

But the pro-lifers and the anti-"judicial activism" people aren't stopping there; they are even waging a rhetorical assault on the right to privacy. The right to privacy. In a time when people are chaffing against the government's ever increasing desire to monitor our phone calls and web activity and library records, when people on the Left decry the "police state" and people on the Right rail against "big government," the pro-lifers are trying to convince people to support laws and politicians who will take away their right to privacy. Anyone wanna place bets on the outcome of this battle?

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