Those of us who work in adolescent reproductive health often feel bewildered about the ultra-right’s fight against comprehensive sex education and access to contraception. The anti-choice movement says that it wants to end abortion, but they adamantly oppose the best way to do this: reduce the number of unintended pregnancy. They fight efforts to teach teens about how to prevent pregnancy and STIs (save the abstinence-only approach, which in general doesn’t work), they fight offering contraception in public and private health care plans, and yet they say that their overarching goal is to end the practice of abortion. It just doesn’t make sense.
I just read an interesting article from Friends Journal that offers up a possible reason for this apparent inconsistency. Whether the author’s hypothesis is correct (that the ultimate goal of the anti-choice, anti-reproductive rights movement is in fact not to end abortion, but instead to take away women’s control of their own bodies, thus forcing us back into subserviency) or not, the theory is an interesting one that bears further scrutiny.