Why Republicans Can’t Shut Up About Contraception
Sometimes I think the GOP must be working toward the long-term goal of ensuring that not a single American woman votes for the party.
How else to explain the behavior of one Kevin Lundberg, the Republican chair of the Senate Health Committee in the Colorado legislature? Over the past six years, a program has provided more than 30,000 women in the state with free intrauterine devices (IUDs), which has helped contribute to a 40 percent drop in the teen birth rate and a 34 percent decline in teen abortions. Now the program is up for renewal, and Lundberg opposes it. Why? Because, he believes, IUDs prevent pregnancies by causing abortions.
It’s unfair to say that Lundberg has taken this position because he actively wants to drive women out of the party. That will merely be its effect. The real reason that he and lots of other Republicans can’t seem to shut up about contraception is that the party has embraced the pro-life movement — and the pro-life movement has embraced the extreme view that “life,” including complete human dignity and rights, begins at conception.
The GOP’s work on pro-life causes has gotten savvier and more diverse in the years since Roe v Wade. The party no longer relies on crude, obvious arguments against the right to choose, instead taking more subtle tactics to woo voters from a number of perspectives. If Americans don’t watch out, the tactic might just work.