Monday, March 24, 2008

It's never just about abortion

April Reign zeros in on the testimony of Matt Sande, legislative director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. Sande was testifying before a legislative committee conducting hearings on Compassionate Care for Rape Victims.

During his testimony he was asked point-blank about his group's position on, not abortion, but contraception. His answer was the typical hogwash of hormonal contraceptives being abortifacient and therefore inducing, in the eyes of the anti-choicers, an abortion. Clearly, Sande was representing the belief that the morning-after pill should not be made available to women and, given the circumstances of his appearance, that means denying it to victims of rape.

In the video (at Birth Pangs) one legislator corners Sande and forces him to expose how far the anti-choice agenda actually goes. Sande uncomfortably admits that his group is opposed to all forms of contraception including barrier methods such as condoms. Why? Because it's preventing all that precious male sperm from possibly fertilizing a possibly viable egg. Prior to being forced into giving up that answer, Sande had made it a point to suggest that his group disagrees with hormonal contraceptives because they prevent a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the woman's uterine lining.

That's where Sande's testimony becomes grossly dishonest.

Sande, (and those that make up his ilk), would have us all believe that every fertilized egg in a woman's reproductive system represents a life conceived and a pregnancy. That flies directly in the face of medical evidence. Sande didn't mention that one-third to one-half of all fertilized eggs in a woman's reproductive system never implant in the uterine lining and are naturally expelled.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists a pregnancy doesn't begin until after the fertilized zygote has implanted itself in the uterus which can occur anywhere from five to eighteen days after fertilization. If it implants.

Sande pulled another line out of the forced-pregnancy bag. He stated that the reason his anti-choice group is opposed to all forms of contraception is because that would suggest that pregnancy is a medical problem and, in his insular little world, it isn't.

News flash for Mr. Sande: Pregnancy is a medical condition and a medical problem. It's also a financial problem for some, a social problem for others and to some, a combination of the three.

What is galling about Sande's appearance before these legislative hearings is that this was a body attempting to learn more about the provision of care to rape victims and the anti-choice crowd was permitted to use it as a lever to forward their agenda. If anything good came out of it, it was the further exposure of their true agenda. Anti-abortion is only a small part of their goal.

Keep in mind that these individuals normally align with the conservative political house and are all for having less government. Until it comes to sex and then they would go to the ends of the earth to have cameras installed in the nation's bedrooms to make sure that you were toeing their puritan line.

I don't know if the hearings got around to asking Sande his group's views on voluntary sterilization but it's a safe bet that they are opposed to that too. Choice, after all, is choice, and that's up to them; not you.

If the Sandes of this world were ever permitted to run the show you could expect that this couple would be cast out of their community and be required to wear some form of symbol stitched to their clothing to indicate how they had violated Sante's forced-parenthood dictum.

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