Sunday, August 14, 2005

Staring Into the Abyss on a Sunday Morning

I had been wanting to watch "Soldiers in the Army of God" for quite some time and it just happened to be on this morning. "Soldiers" is an HBO documentary exposing the strange mania of the anti-choice extremist movement. While listening to the spittle-flecked ramblings of such luminaries as Neal Horsley, I came to realize that one of the driving undercurrents of this extremism is a profound fear and mistrust of women in general.

In the midst of rantings about saving the unborn babies and the martyrdom of Paul Hill, a theme of anti-woman belief became apparent to me. I believe these people when they say, sincerely, that they see abortion-on-demand as the murder of unborn children. I strongly disagree but I accept that it's a free country and wingnuts have rights just like the rest of us.

However, what I see as the real issue with the so-called Army of God and other anti-choice religious organizations is a re-affirmation of the subordinate role of women in society. These are men (mostly) who view sex as a weakness that women tempt them to, and they say so often in the documentary. The so-called Pro-Life movement is less about "saving unborn children" than it is about controlling the sex lives of women (never men, of course) based on the Pro-Life lobby's view of proper sexual conduct. They want to punish and denigrate behavior that their view of conservative Christianity dictates unacceptable. Else, why not support programs such as sex education in schools and the free availability of birth control, given that these things are proven to reduce the number of abortions?

Answer: Because that takes control of reproductive authority out of the hands of religious ideology and places it into the hands of individual women. Which is exactly where it should be, by the way.

The only way to reduce the number of abortions in the United States is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Until anti-choice organizations bend their full support to sex education and birth control it will be clear to me that the real impetus behind their efforts is a curtailing of women's rights.

1 comment:

ellroon said...

Exactly. If they really wanted to stop abortions, they would be working on a 100% foolproof contraceptive. It's all about sex.