As we have previously discussed here at Fired Up!, Governor Matt Blunt has declared war on birth control in Missouri, and he has put some of his hand-picked Generals in that war in key positions of responsibility.
Last year, Governor Matt Blunt chose St. Louis lawyer Ed Martin to serve as the Chair of the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners. Martin is now receiving national publicity, but it's not for any effort to modernize the City of St. Louis' elections system. Instead, Martin is being featured for his role in trying to restrict women's access to birth control.
In today's Washington Post, Martin is quoting talking about the national effort to restrict access to emergency contraception and the pill.
"Basically, every state now has an effort going to either make Plan B
more easily available or to slow it down or make sure that pharmacists
don't have to dispense if they oppose it," said Edward R. Martin, a
lawyer and lobbyist with Americans United for Life, who has helped put
together some of the proposed "conscience" clauses.
Here's the real deal. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation:
Researchers estimate that widespread use of EC (emergency contraception) could potentially prevent up to half of the approximately 3 million unintended pregnancies that occur annually in the U.S., and one study has suggested that broader use could help prevent as many as 700,000 pregnancies that now result in abortion.
The argument that opponents of emergency contraception are doing so because they oppose abortion just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
They oppose it because they oppose all forms of birth control, because emergency contraception and the pill work exactly the same way.
From the Washington Post story:
The primary opposition to Plan B, however, has come from groups that
contend that it can lead to very early abortions -- though experts say
it acts in the same way as regular contraceptives.
The real difference is that people like Governor Blunt and Ed Martin know that they couldn't politically survive a frontal assault on the pill. So instead, they are mounting a flanking maneuver on the pill by claiming they are opposing abortion.
It's dishonest of them. If they oppose the pill because they believe that preventing a fertilized egg from implanting is the same thing as an abortion, fine. Then say so.
And be prepared to face the political consequences.