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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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59 Responses

  1. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 7, 2006 at 2:33 pm |

    “Sexual union in marriage ought to be a complete giving of each spouse to the other, and when fertility (or potential fertility) is deliberately excluded from that giving I am convinced that something valuable is lost. A husband will sometimes begin to see his wife as an object of sexual pleasure who should always be available for gratification.”

    This is a long post, but this part has bothered me since I read the article last night. It completely discounts the idea that women *want* to have sex. Once the possibility of pregnancy is removed, a husband will have unlimited possibilities to demand sex from his wife! The complete denial of women’s sexual agency and interest in sex is a common theme for this crowd, but it drives me nuts to see it show up in such invidious (and somewhat subtle) ways.

  2. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte May 7, 2006 at 2:50 pm |

    Agreed, fizz. It’s like it’s not even comprehensible to them that sexual pleasure is a bonding experience. If this indeed reflects their marriages and sex lives, I pity them. How sad to be married, claim to love someone and avoid happily collapsing in unworried bliss into bed with the loved one? But I suspect a lot more of them ‘contracept’ than will admit it.

  3. Julie
    Julie May 7, 2006 at 3:05 pm |

    Great Article Jill! Thanks for the link. I read all of it and found it fascinating. I guess I didn’t realize just how widespread the war on contraception is. It’s actually pretty scary to read about and makes me increasingly happy that I live in NY with a very progressive and pro-birth control doctor. And I have never understood how using NFP to prevent pregnancy is any different than other methods. I used the pill for three years and yet any unplanned pregnancy would have been welcomed with open arms, it most certainly wouldn’t have been unwanted. We just knew it wasn’t the most ideal time, so we waited. Exactly the same as if we had been using NFP. I think these people forget that pregnancy is NOT a walk in the park. It’s hard work, it really is. I’m currently 7 and a half months pregnant… it hurts to walk, it hurts to bend over, my sciatic nerve aches about two hous after I wake up. I can’t sleep without my stomach rolling and pulling and hurting. My joints have started to loosen and it feels like someone has taken a sledgehammer to my pelvic area. And I still have 10 weeks left.I am freaking out because I remember how bad labor and the recovery from labor hurt. This sucks and my child is extremely wanted and loved. I knew what I was getting into before I conceived and CHOSE to do so anyway. I can’t imagine doing this if I didn’t want a baby or was pregnant simply because I wasn’t allowed access to contraception. I think it’s time to start stockpiling condoms, just in case.

  4. F-Words
    F-Words May 7, 2006 at 3:07 pm |

    They’re wackos, but they’re important wackos.

    This is the deal with the devil the GOP made by cozying up to its wingnut fundamentalist element, and it got them five years or so of strong support. What it won’t get them is re-elected.

  5. the bewilderness
    the bewilderness May 7, 2006 at 3:08 pm |

    We’ve come a long way, from forced sterilization of poor women to forced pregnancy for poor women, to stay in the same place. The issue is obedience to authority. No matter how they dress it up, it always comes dowm to the same thing.

  6. The Magpie Herself
    The Magpie Herself May 7, 2006 at 3:11 pm |

    So … let me get this straight. Prior to the ability through technology to willfully prevent the potential conception of offspring, men *did not* view their wives as always available for sexual gratification?

    Silly Magpie, that’s what whores were for.

  7. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 7, 2006 at 3:12 pm |

    It’s like it’s not even comprehensible to them that sexual pleasure is a bonding experience.

    Agreed, Amanda. It’s also interesting to me that the article highlights the mentality that there is an *objectively correct* way to have sex. It’s not just that the sluts/perverts/queers are doing it all wrong. It’s that married people who are enjoying oral sex are doing it wrong too! That part blows my mind (pardon the pun).

    I’m still baffled by the idea that sex has no purpose other than procreation. What, pray tell, is the clit for otherwise?

  8. becky
    becky May 7, 2006 at 3:19 pm |

    I’m still baffled by the idea that sex has no purpose other than procreation. What, pray tell, is the clit for otherwise?

    I love it! The one scientific fact the right cherishes is that pregnancy is the “natural” outcome of hetero sex, and therefore the only purpose of sex. The little scientific fact of the clitoris must be awfully hard to account for, so they ignore it.

    I saw this article last night as I was going to bed, and ended up reading & blogging about it till 5 am. Between this and Glamour magazine’s article on the conservative war against women’s contraceptive health, I hope all women — including Republicans — and the men involved with them are starting to wake up to the backwardness of the extreme right that’s in control. Honestly, our president can’t say whether or not he supports contraception? Are you going to tell me the only time he and Laura had sex was for their daughters? Come on.

    This was another of those articles that made me feel like my Victorian studies is incredibly pertinent.

  9. Auguste
    Auguste May 7, 2006 at 3:22 pm |

    My dad and I were arguing over this just yesterday. He dismissed my description of the war on contraception as being “just a few of the Catholics” and “exteremely fringe.”

    Guess who reads the Sunday NYTimes religiously?

  10. randomliberal/Robert
    randomliberal/Robert May 7, 2006 at 3:25 pm |

    Echoing what Julie already said, i wanted to highlight this from the opening paragraph:

    “The mind-set that invites a couple to use contraception is an antichild mind-set,” she told me. “So when a baby is conceived accidentally, the couple already have this negative attitude toward the child. Therefore seeking an abortion is a natural outcome.”

    That’s pretty clearly bullshit. My youngest sister was an accident, but my parents didn’t have a second thought about having her, and she’s no less loved than the other two of us (i would say more loved, but that’s probably older-sibling jealousy talking). As usual, it all depends on the circumstance.

    Also, it surprises me not a lick to see Al Mohler’s name in with this crap (i’m assuming the Mohler quoted midway thru is Al). I really wish he’d quit calling himself a fucking Baptist.

  11. dcc
    dcc May 7, 2006 at 4:11 pm |

    A must read is PZ Meyers explaination about how Plan B actually work and how the right wing objection to iit has nothing to do with abortion.

  12. dcc
    dcc May 7, 2006 at 4:14 pm |
  13. Katherine
    Katherine May 7, 2006 at 4:26 pm |

    Great article.

    In response to fizz’s question of “What, pray tell, is the clit for otherwise?”, I have a bit of a pet theory. So, conservative views like that generally = patriarchal, right? And how does it go for guys? The penis is BOTH the organ for sexual pleasure and what is needed to deliver the sperm for reproduction. It doesn’t occur to them, therefore, that it’s possible to have that same sexual pleasure without doing anything related to reproduction at all.

    And probably also a bit of, why should we care about whether the woman enjoys the act at all, she’s just going to love being pregnant and being a mother blah blah.

  14. Natalia
    Natalia May 7, 2006 at 5:29 pm |

    I was an accident, so was my brother. We were unplanned, but we were wanted children. My parents hate making plans anyway. Everything is so last minute with them. ;)

    What’s scary to me is that I’m reading this post after having a night of great sex. You know what I mean, just ridiculously awesome sex. The “I-love-you-so-much-I-don’t-want-to-let-you-go-for-a-second” sex. The hottest of all hot sex. The most passionate, beautiful, erotic, and completely wild intercourse I’ve had since finals began.

    I read statements like Judie Brown, I have to wonder, has that woman ever had a decent night of sex? Perhaps she did, and she was taught to feel so darn bad about it, that she ran out the next day and joined some bullshit anti-human, anti-choice, anti-woman “league.”

    She can hem and haw all she wants. This thing is really all about denying women pleasure, denying them equal footing in their relationships. And it’s fueled by self-hatred. And that’s just sad and scary.

  15. Hoyden-About-Town
    Hoyden-About-Town May 7, 2006 at 8:43 pm |

    NYT: the anti-contraceptive movement

    So while I agree that the left at large failed to maintain the initial emphasis on sexual autonomy, I can’t agree that the left is to blame for overemphasis on sex as just about body parts – that’s all about corporatism and sell sell sell.

    The Rig…

  16. Kyra
    Kyra May 7, 2006 at 10:12 pm |

    “The mind-set that invites a couple to use contraception is an antichild mind-set,” she told me. “So when a baby is conceived accidentally, the couple already have this negative attitude toward the child. Therefore seeking an abortion is a natural outcome.”

    The “anti-child mindset” in question (in cases where there is such a mindset) is already there when someone decides to use contraception. It will be there whether the conception is accidental (birth control failure) or a natural consequence (lack of birth control). The only difference is with the numbers involved.

    Which does this lady think is better? One unwanted pregnancy, or perhaps none, in ten or fifteen or twenty or fifty years while she doesn’t want a child, resulting in one abortion, or none? Or ten unwanted pregnancies, or twenty, or eighty, resulting in ten or twenty or eighty abortions? How many times can a woman get pregnant during her reproductive lifetime, if every pregnancy is terminated within a couple months? That’s a hell of a lot of abortions—and here I thought these people were pro-life.

  17. Deborah
    Deborah May 7, 2006 at 10:44 pm |

    I’ve gotta say, I’m thrilled to see anti-choice groups finally having their true views exposed in the mainstream media.

    This is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Not to get the NYT readership to be more pro-choice, because by and large they already are, but to wake them up to these people and what they’re doing. Mobilize the base and all that.

  18. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl May 7, 2006 at 10:47 pm |

    “The mind-set that invites a couple to use contraception is an antichild mind-set,” she told me. “So when a baby is conceived accidentally, the couple already have this negative attitude toward the child. Therefore seeking an abortion is a natural outcome.”

    As with Random Liberal, I am utterly bewildered by this notion. As far as I know, my siblings and I were all planned, but my mother miscarried an unplanned pregnancy and was absolutely devastated. Plus, three of my cousins were unplanned, and so were several of my friends. No, birth control isn’t 100% foolproof, but in an age of legal abortion, when a woman carries an unplanned pregnancy to term, it’s usually because she WANTS to. There are some people who never ever want children, and there are others who do, but the timing isn’t optional. A lot of the second type tend to shrug and go with it when they have an unplanned pregnancy.

    I’ve frequently heard people say “Well, we were planning to wait a few more years to start a family,” or “We weren’t intending to have another baby right away,” followed by, “But you know, stuff happens.” There’s a big difference between a situation where a couple is open to the possibility of having children, even if they’re taking precautions, and one where they aren’t open to it or can’t be. And it’s not a difference based on what type of contraception, if any, is used. It depends on attitude and on external circumstances. You get a couple who were intending to wait a few years so they could pay down the mortgage and take that trip to Thailand, yeah the wife’s on the Pill, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be running for the abortion clinic just because the timing isn’t optimal. A couple (or a single) absolutely on the edge financially, or on the verge of divorce, might be in a very different situation, and choose abortion. But they’d choose it because of their situation, not because of their contraception method.

    If the anti-contraception crowd is going to say shit like this, might it not be a good idea for them to try and back up their strange assertion with some facts? I mean, a sociologist could quite easily set up a study looking at a large set of couples who were using artificial birth control, tracking how many became pregnant, and then tracking what they decided to do about the pregnancy.

    Besides, the rhetoric about NFP is just bizarre. On the one hand it’s “showing openness to life” but on the other, according to people like Dawn Eden, it works so much better than hte other kind of BC. My understanding was that NFP really doesn’t work all that well at all (apparently Rusty and Andrea Yates were apparently using NFP, and we all know how many kids they had), and if it does, surely the free market would disseminate the information about this marvellous, cheap, side-effect-free, reliable form of birth control and it would spread by virtue of its own efficiency.

  19. Magis
    Magis May 7, 2006 at 11:00 pm |

    Ahh yes, now I remember why we put them under those rocks in the first place. Sun time is over, time to go back.

  20. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax May 7, 2006 at 11:23 pm |

    My understanding was that NFP really doesn’t work all that well at all

    It has a “perfect use” effectiveness rate comparable to reasonably effective contraceptives, and a “typical use” effectiveness rate that is much lower. I think that, actually, it works really well for some couples, and not for others.

    1) Women have different bodies, and some have clearer signs of when ovulation is on its way, and when it has happened, than others.

    2) Women’s sex drives aren’t all alike. So some people report having their sex life gain from the period they don’t have sex, while others find that the period is just when the woman most wants to have sex, and so is just frustrating.

    And, yeah, the rhetoric where NFP is supposed to both be really, really effective and also uniquely expressive of openness to having children is really bizarre to me. I suspect the real reason it’s favored is that it’s pretty useless outside a long-term relationship; you need to know you’ll both be available for sex long term to have any motivation to pass up sex during that fertile period.

  21. geoduck2
    geoduck2 May 7, 2006 at 11:24 pm |

    I’m mildly traumatized. I was trying to explain the anti-contraceptive ideology to a dense troll on Pandagon, and then somebody else thought I was a Dawn Eden convert.

    EEeeeek!

    That was a very interesting article in the NYT. I can’t believe that the anti-contraception ideology has become more popular. What are these people, nuts?

  22. Elinor
    Elinor May 7, 2006 at 11:33 pm |

    It completely discounts the idea that women *want* to have sex. Once the possibility of pregnancy is removed, a husband will have unlimited possibilities to demand sex from his wife! The complete denial of women’s sexual agency and interest in sex is a common theme for this crowd, but it drives me nuts to see it show up in such invidious (and somewhat subtle) ways.

    What I find interesting is that this echoes some feminist anti-contraception arguments from about a hundred years back. I don’t think the idea is completely insane — after all, this was when marital rape was completely legal and female sexual pleasure was supposed to come from the “mature” vaginal orgasm or the sheer joy of being “conquered” — but it’s pretty clear why that particular strand of feminism more or less died out. The contraceptives weren’t the real problem.

    Does anyone else find that entirely creepy? Dad keeps your virginity, until it’s passed off to another dude. “Thanks for taking her off my hands — as a special bonus, here’s her hymen.”

    It repulses me. It has such extremely strong overtones of incest. The father publicly presents himself to his daughter as a husband-equivalent, or the eventual husband as a father-equivalent, and gives the girl a ring to remind her that he, and not she, is the rightful owner of her vagina and by extension her sexuality. And then the husband is supposed to do this sort of symbolic sex act with the ring, putting his finger into it…oh, it’s nasty.

    A lot of wedding rituals in particular carry the same kind of message (giving the bride away, etc.), but this is so much more literal and explicit, it makes me cringe.

  23. Hoyden-About-Town
    Hoyden-About-Town May 7, 2006 at 11:39 pm |

    Fetal Brain Development: Myths and Disinformation

    Jill’s disappointment in the “America is Best” rhetoric’s fiction is a good jumping off point for me on a particular piece of anti-choice misinformation that’s been bugging me for a while. As in the quote below about the 43-day-old-fetus from the …

  24. Tony
    Tony May 8, 2006 at 1:55 am |

    “I can already here the conservatives saying, ‘But look at how good you have it! You could be living in Iran!’ Sure, and women in Iran could be living in Afghanistan. See how lucky they are?”

    The most absurd part of that kind of reasoning is that conservatives use it as a counter to demands for decent treatment of women here, by implying that only women in places like Iran ‘really’ have the right to complain. Yet when’s the last time you heard conservatives raise a voice to help the women in places like Iran? They want to bomb Iran!

  25. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl May 8, 2006 at 2:12 am |

    Thanks for the explanation, Lynn. Sounds like it could work fine if you’re really careful, and have clear signs of ovulation. And I guess it’s great if you can’t handle the hormones in the Pill, or are allergic to latex, or have some other problem with regular methods of contraception. Or, ya know, if you have religious objections to other forms of contraception.

    Personally, if I were doing NFP, I’d be supplementing with condoms, because I definitely don’t want children ever. A lot of married couples feel differently, though. I’m a big believer in two, sometimes even three contraception methods at the same time, and lo and behold I’ve never gotten pregnant. So NFP probably wouldn’t work for me, even in the context of a longterm monogamous relationship, because I’d be all, “OK, the NFP says I’m not ovulating, so just let me put the diaphragm in and grab the box of condoms and we’ll get to it!”

  26. PHLAF
    PHLAF May 8, 2006 at 7:33 am |

    In all fairness to NFP, I don’t think Andrea Yates’ experiences are the best indicator of its efficacy. NFP does take some amount of forethought and focus, and she obviously wasn’t in any kind of mental state to be as responsible and consistant as NFP requires. But, in general, I do agree about the conflicting rhetoric on NFP by NFP users. It’s a classic example of having one’s cake and eating it, too.

    And, of course, the “contraceptive mentality”, if one buys into the concept, exists among the NFP crowd as well as among the non-NFP BC crowd. Two of Dawn Eden’s commenters who are apparently engaged claim they will use NFP to avoid children for at least the first two years of their marriage so that they can “establish” their marriage and get nicer digs. Well…isn’t that what the conservative Christians are accusing of non-NFP BC users of? Of putting material goods and personal success first? When I got married, one’s marriage was “established” the moment you got up on that altar and said your vows before God, your family and your community.

    Overall, I thought the article was pretty balanced and not really overly harsh on conservative Christians who hold these beliefs. I think there was a general attitude of respect for them and their beliefs, but also a very fair-minded and non-hysterical concern about politicizing those beliefs and how Bush’s policies concerning family planning have probably done more harm than good.

  27. Anne
    Anne May 8, 2006 at 7:42 am |

    I hope this gets the message out there. Glamour recently had a big article overseeing the interference the right wing is causing in healthcare relating to gynecology, too. While those of us in the lefty blog world know all about this stuff, only a small number of people in the country who use the internet use it to read blogs, and most people have no idea what the right wing is trying to do.

  28. MissPenName
    MissPenName May 8, 2006 at 8:24 am |

    I haven’t had a chance to even begin this lengthy article yet, but I just finished Christina Page’s How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America. On my own blog I posted the parts that shocked, scared, or amused me (for instance, one site says that masturbation is a homosexual act. I’m not kidding). Please – not for traffic or links or anything for me – go and read this book. Everyone needs to know about this. Page’s sources are legitimate, and extensive. This isn’t just a “feminist” or “woman” issue. Neither men nor woman can have healthy relationships or happy lives (and raise happy children) if they are so afraid, ashamed, and confused about sex.

  29. Captain Slack
    Captain Slack May 8, 2006 at 8:52 am |

    Sex should be for procreative purposes only

    A scientist called Ton Lit exclaims, “You mean we must be thinking about conception during the act? That’s impossible. Men’s penises would droop, and women’s vaginas wouldn’t get moist. It’s like— well, it’s like making the shrill mouth-music while you are urinating. It would take great training, if it can be done at all.”
    (Robert Anton Wilson and/or Robert Shea, The Golden Apple)

  30. Marian
    Marian May 8, 2006 at 9:43 am |

    I think these folks are ridiculous too, but if they’re going to go off the “Contraception destroys marriages by driving a barrier between a couple’s love” and “Contraceiving couples are anti-child,” then it’s going to be awfully hard to legislate if you think about it. After all, they’ll be hard-pressed to prove a “mentality” and legislate based on it. This isn’t the Catholic United States of America, so trying to ban something because “Humana Vitae says so” might prove difficult in a court of law.

    Scarier is the “Contraception leads to immorality and chaos” (or what did they say on Dawn’s blog–shootings, drugs, gangs, whatever?), because laws have been passed in this country based on the “morality” and “destroying society” argument (Prohibition etc.).

  31. zuzu
    zuzu May 8, 2006 at 10:02 am |

    Does anyone else find that entirely creepy? Dad keeps your virginity, until it’s passed off to another dude. “Thanks for taking her off my hands — as a special bonus, here’s her hymen.”

    Why, yes. Yes, I do.

    I keep wondering when the Big Stompy Foot of the pharmaceutical lobby is going to come down on efforts to illegalize contraception. Oral contraceptives are a HUGE moneymaker for them, and I’m sure they don’t want their profits being cut into.

  32. Fitz
    Fitz May 8, 2006 at 10:54 am |

    Marian

    St. Thomas Aquinas is noted as observing that everything that is immoral should not necessarily be illegal. (imagine trying to legislate “impure thoughts”).
    When reading this article yesterday, I cannot remember encountering any efforts to legally ban contraception. I believe it’s a social understanding these groups hope to impart.

  33. Thomas
    Thomas May 8, 2006 at 12:03 pm |

    I cannot remember encountering any efforts to legally ban contraception.

    Yet. However, Roe opponents’ reasoning generally leads to the conclusion that Griswold was wrongly decided. Without Griswold, states can outlaw contraception. Several bible-belt states outlaw dildoes, and would outlaw pornography and sodomy if the Supreme Court didn’t invalidate such laws …

  34. D. Colson
    D. Colson May 8, 2006 at 12:23 pm |

    On Sunday, an article was published in the Washington Post that essentially claims young men are increasingly having impotence problems and that sexually liberated women who “speak their mind” are to blame. Ironic that as we are stripping women’s access to family planning, we are concerned that our young college age men are not virile enough. Can you please pass some Viagra and Misogyny this way?

    You can read the Post’s article entitled “Cupid’s Broken Arrow” here

    You can read my critique of the article here

  35. zuzu
    zuzu May 8, 2006 at 12:29 pm |

    You’re not looking hard enough, Fitzy.

    Of course they won’t try an outright ban. Look how much of an uproar outright bans on abortion cause (i.e., South Dakota), and contraception is *way* more popular (and has more entrenched interests, i.e. Big Pharma) than abortion.

    No, they’re going to do the incremental strategy, which they’ve already started. First, ban EC. Then, cut funding for contraception for low-income women, as in Missouri. Try to ban contraceptives at state universities (a dumb idea if I ever heard one). Try to cut funding for contraceptives through the military’s health plan. Try to ban the sale of contraceptives to minors. And, a la South Dakota, define “pregnancy” as beginning the second the sperm meets the egg, and forbid any forms of contraception that prevent implantation when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions — leaving room to argue that oral contraceptives and IUDs as well as EC do so and should be banned.

    With any luck, this will turn into a third rail of politics as surely as Social Security is.

  36. Fitz
    Fitz May 8, 2006 at 12:36 pm |

    I wonder how many of the commentators so far have actually read the Russell Shorto article in its entirety; as apposed to Ann’s brief take on it. Before reading it yesterday I took the time to re-familiarize myself with other articles Mr. Shorto has written. It seems he has been the point man for the NYT magazine’s articles concerning social conservatives. I found his other articles (and this one) informative yet lacking. I could go on at length pointing out his willful obfuscations and clever slant. Instead I’ll just try and point out a couple of germane facts that add context to both Ann’s painting of the article, and the way the cover headline does the same.

    As the law stands, the ability of anti-contraception advocates to have any chance of effectively regulating ANY type of contraception method is zero. The line of cases starting with Griswold v. Connecticut and more importantly Eisenstadt v. Baird, make access to contraception a Federally protected Constitutional right. Chief Justice John Roberts openly re-affirmed this right in his confirmation hearings (unlike Roe). This is why FDA approval has become so contentious. Once the drug is declared safe for prescription or over the counter use, no Federal or State action can thwart its widespread dissemination and use. It doesn’t take much empathy to realize how disfranchised from the political process the social conservatives are on this subject. More importantly, even under the most favorable circumstances to federalists, regulation of contraception would be returned to the State Legislatures were people would be voting on it. It strains credulity to maintain that some wholesale rollback is possible. Shorto says as much in his article and the anti-contraception forces are aware of the political/legal terrain. It takes a certain crass opportunism to paint our rights to contraception as under a likely, much less immanent threat. As the article points out, the social conservatives are attempting to focus the nation’s attention on the larger issue of the effects widespread use of contraception has had on our social life as a nation and a people. After all, the didn’t name it a sexual “revolution” by accident.

  37. zuzu
    zuzu May 8, 2006 at 12:55 pm |

    Who’s Ann?

  38. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 8, 2006 at 1:05 pm |

    Fitz, you’re doing that thing where you lecture the lawyers and the law students about first-year con law again.

    More importantly, even under the most favorable circumstances to federalists, regulation of contraception would be returned to the State Legislatures were people would be voting on it.

    Except by people, you mean legislators like Cynthia Davis, who argues that funding contraceptives for low income women means we turn them into prostitutes.

    I don’t expect the court to overturn Griswold and Eisenstadt anytime soon, but don’t kid yourself that they’re not the eventual target.

  39. Fitz
    Fitz May 8, 2006 at 1:10 pm |

    Sorry, meant Jill – I’m carring on the same conversation on two different site’s. :(

  40. Thomas
    Thomas May 8, 2006 at 1:22 pm |

    Fitz, if you’re not sure how to spell a word, like imminent, that handy tag marked Dict. is a link to Dictionary.com. Also, plurals such as sites do not require (or even permit) the use of an apostrophe.

  41. MissPenName
    MissPenName May 8, 2006 at 1:32 pm |

    Speaking of Griswold, Senator Rick Santorum says that the right to privacy was created by Griswold, and he doesn’t think it really exists – that we are not entitled to privacy. So people of Pennsylvania – re-elect him and have cameras installed in bedroom, doctor’s office, pharmacy…

  42. Fitz
    Fitz May 8, 2006 at 1:38 pm |

    Evil Fizz
    You accuse me of lecturing, and then cede the point you posted as an example therein.

    “I don’t expect the court to overturn Griswold and Eisenstadt anytime soon, but don’t kid yourself that they’re not the eventual target.”
    Even if this were to happen, we would still have our democratic system – Even if Legislators like Cynthia Davis were to propose banning birth control, she would need to convince large numbers of the voters to support her.

    From the link you gave, this does not seem to be her intent.
    (rather she seems more interested in pointing out;)
    “Even if you solve a physical problem you still have not solved the moral, emotional and spiritual problems that come with a promiscuous lifestyle.”

    Thomas

    Thank you for the lesson in English usage and spelling. I’m currently looking for a good secretary; perhaps if you live in my area you could apply.

  43. Fitz
    Fitz May 8, 2006 at 1:46 pm |

    Oh – typically constitutional law is not taught until the second or third year.

  44. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 8, 2006 at 1:55 pm |

    Even if Legislators like Cynthia Davis were to propose banning birth control, she would need to convince large numbers of the voters to support her.

    No, she’d need to convince other legislators to support her efforts. She doesn’t have to worry about her constituents until the next election.

    And if you think I ceded the point, you need to reread what I said. I don’t think that the court won’t overturn Griswold and its progeny in the immediate future, but I also still think that anti-choicers are taking aim squarely at that line of cases.

    It takes a certain crass opportunism to paint our rights to contraception as under a likely, much less immanent threat.

    No, it takes a quick look at Google.

  45. randomliberal/Robert
    randomliberal/Robert May 8, 2006 at 1:57 pm |

    Actually, Fitz, legislators like Cynthia Davis don’t have to convince large numbers of voters; just the group of like-minded fools safely gerrymandered into her district.

  46. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 8, 2006 at 2:03 pm |

    Oh – typically constitutional law is not taught until the second or third year.

    I can’t speak for all programs, but at my law school and Jill’s it’s first year. First year also includes writing requirements which you seem to have missed…

  47. zuzu
    zuzu May 8, 2006 at 2:05 pm |

    Oh – typically constitutional law is not taught until the second or third year.

    Not at my school. Or most schools I know of.

  48. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 8, 2006 at 2:05 pm |

    Oops, I don’t think that the court won’t overturn Griswold and its progeny in the immediate future, should read I don’t think the court *will* overturn…

  49. Elinor
    Elinor May 8, 2006 at 2:30 pm |

    It takes a certain crass opportunism to paint our rights to contraception as under a likely, much less immanent threat.

    Can you explain what you mean by “crass opportunism”? Does anyone here stand to make millions from Planned Parenthood donations?

  50. Fitz
    Fitz May 8, 2006 at 2:49 pm |

    It was my understanding that the cultural left was intent on raising the specter of people taking away birth control- as a political weapon. (I never really believed that people were losing real sleep over it)

    I suppose I can lay awake worrying about a return to prohibition.

  51. Magis
    Magis May 8, 2006 at 3:11 pm |

    Fitz:

    I know of no Law School that would leave out ConLaw in the first year. So much else wouldn’t make sense without it. Hell, I had to take it as an undergrad course.

    Now I don’t know if you were kidding or not but yes, Carry Nation is alive and well and living in Kansas.

  52. Frank
    Frank May 8, 2006 at 3:16 pm |

    “We’re marching proudly backwards to our future.”

    From “The Department of Homeland Decency: Decency Rules and Regulations Manual.” http://WWW.homelanddecency.com

  53. Have Coffee Will Write » IF SHE’S OLD ENOUGH TO BLEED…

    […] pdate — 1713 — lots of other bloggers are all over this like Terry, Sherry and Feminste.] Emboldened by the appointments of Chief Justice Joh […]

  54. Amber
    Amber May 8, 2006 at 6:20 pm |

    Magis, at Harvard it’s not even a required course.

  55. Tony
    Tony May 8, 2006 at 7:16 pm |

    Fitz, as I mentioned on the other site (you know, the one with Ann) you’re doing what a lot of law-oriented types tend to do (and this includes a lot of liberals) which in my opinion is underestimate the role of social norms and popular opinion and overestimate the influence of narrow legal interpretations. I suggest you look over the posts on this thread if you haven’t already for the ways at which the Republicans are chipping away at access to contraception. However distant total, direct and unadulterated victory for the theocon side may be, it is clear that the war is on.

    The real bulwark that protects access to contraception is not going to be static legalisms but what our society comes to collectively believe and ultimately accept is their proper role. And that requires a larger debate over the role of religion in public life– and the place of openness and freedom regarding sexual behavior in social life.

  56. ballgame
    ballgame May 8, 2006 at 7:46 pm |

    It takes a certain crass opportunism to paint our rights to contraception as under a likely, much less immanent threat.

    The real bulwark that protects access to contraception is not going to be static legalisms but what our society comes to collectively believe and ultimately accept is their proper role.

    Since the leader of the party which currently rules us claims the power to indefinitely imprison citizens in this country without administrative or judicial review of any kind, and also claims that the Fourth Amendment is somehow inoperative under our current circumstances, it is quite unclear to me which freedoms and rights we may safely take for granted, or whether the collective belief of the preponderant majority will suffice to protect those freedoms against legalistic encroachment.

  57. zuzu
    zuzu May 8, 2006 at 8:18 pm |

    Magis, at Harvard it’s not even a required course.

    Philistines.

    Well, Fitz argues like someone who hasn’t taken Con Law yet, since the idea of incremental changes in the Court’s opinions through subsequent decisions seems to have eluded him.

  58. Grog
    Grog May 8, 2006 at 10:56 pm |

    Stepping aside from the US Constitutional law a bit {which is a bit of arcana that I only have a pidgin knowledge of}, it seems to me that there is an underlying practical problem with the current legislative direction both in regards to abortion and contraception.

    In both cases, lawmakers are attempting to codify in law proscriptions against what are essentially matters of personal morality and ethics.

    Like the prohibition era when alcohol was banned, all that really happens is that access to it goes underground. People don’t stop drinking because alcohol is illegal, nor do I have any illusions that making contraception illegal will stop it from being used.

    Ultimately, laws that attempt to directly regulate people’s behaviours through some kind of arbitrary morality fail – either when challenged in the courts, or quietly by being ignored by the population. As has been demonstrated time and again, legislated morality fails.

  59. Sina
    Sina May 9, 2006 at 11:08 am |

    Grog: No kidding, just look at the “war on drugs.” Only the difference was that during prohibition, the homemade alcohol wasn’t regulated, and so possibly much more dangerous.

    Also, we should perhaps be less worried about imminent efforts to legally ban contraception; it seems like this administration’s MO is to illegally ban things; kind of like the sham holdup of the morning-after pill discussed in detail in this very article, and in a wider sense (as described in Charlie Savage’s Boston Globe article), the various pieces of legislation that the president has never vetoed, but instead attached a little note that says, by the way, this law does not apply.

    Argh. Anyway.

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