Saturday, May 06, 2006

War On Sex

First, they want to take away your right to choose. (That’s obvious.) Then, they want to take away your right to contraception — as we’ve seen here in Massachusetts, where reproductive-rights advocates had to fight for access to emergency contraception. But the last straw, says author Cristina Page, is that the anti-choice movement wants to take away sex.

“The number-one goal is to completely change the way in which Americans live and enjoy their lives — in particular, their sex lives,” says Page, author of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex (Basic Books, 2006).

Take pharmacists who refuse to fill contraceptive prescriptions. Page, who serves as vice-president of the Institute for Reproductive Health Access of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, believes they are punishing women for having what they consider “inappropriate, simply-for-pleasure sex.”

In her book, Page outlines the pro-life movement’s broad and multifaceted assault on contraception — one that puzzles her, given the fact that increased contraceptive access and use would reduce the abortion rate.

She admits that the pro-life movement does a better job than its pro-choice counterpart at dominating repro-rights rhetoric, “creating a cultural debate that’s based on slogans and placards.” The public thinks it’s mostly about abortion, but in reality, “they are engaged in a war on contraception,” Page says. “I think the agenda has broadened and changed, and it’s much more sinister than people realized. America should wake up. The debate is no longer about abortion: it’s about our sex lives.”

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