Gov. Palin is a prominent member of Feminists For Life, a fundamentalist group advocating prison for doctors who perform abortions under any circumstances. FFL also opposes birth control, even for married couples.
Nice slogan, eh? “*Refuse to Choose*”
(FFL states that it does not endorse politicians, despite the banner on their homepage endorsing Gov. Palin for Vice President.)
FFL president Serrin Foster does not handle the question of contraception well, but dances around the topic knowing that the 5% of sexually active women make up 50% of abortions, therefore contraception is the #1 means of avoiding both unwanted pregnancy and abortions. In fact, FFL pamphlets atribute breast cancer to contraceptives, despite a complete lack of medical evidence to support the claim.
The problem is that FFL doesn’t just oppose abortion. FFL wants abortion to be illegal. All abortions, period, including those for rape, incest, health, major fetal defects and, although Foster resisted admitting this, even some abortions most doctors would say were necessary to save the woman’s life. (Although FFL is not a Catholic organization, its rejection of therapeutic abortion follows Catholic doctrine.) FFL wants doctors who perform abortions to be punished, possibly with prison terms.
It was extremely difficult to get Foster to say what she thought would happen if abortion was banned. At one point she would not concede that women would continue to have abortions if it was recriminalized; at another she argued that *criminalization was no big deal: Instructions on self-abortion were posted on the Internet*. I had to work to get her to admit that illegal abortion was common before Roe, and that it was dangerous–numbers on abortion deaths were concocted by pre-Roe legalization advocates, she told me. Yet the FFL website prominently features gory stories of abortion mishaps and discredited claims that abortion causes breast cancer. (Challenged on the cancer connection, Foster says they just want women to have medical information. Asked why they don’t then link to the 2004 Lancet article debunking their cancer claims, she says they are not medical experts and have considered taking the cancer pages down.) So legal abortion is dangerous but illegal abortion would be safe? *When I pointed out that in countries where the operation is banned, such as Brazil and Peru, rates are sky-high and abortion a major cause of injury and death, she professed ignorance.*
I got similarly evasive answers when I asked why FFL didn’t promote birth control, and when I asked if FFL considered the pill an “abortifacient.” She did tell me that “birth control doesn’t work” for swing-shift nurses because they lose track of their body clock–interesting, if true–or for teenagers, which I know to be false.
FFL falls in line with the most extreme anti-choice anti-contraceptive groups:
Today, pro-life groups in the U.S. are reclassifying the most common contraception methods, including the birth control pill, the patch, the IUD and the depo-shot, as “abortifacients,” claiming, with no scientific backing, that they cause abortions. On their website, Feminists for Life classifies emergency contraception as an abortion method. If this were true, Feminists for Life should also classify 40 percent of all birth control methods as abortion methods because they all have the same mode of action as emergency contraception. Feminists for Life’s colleague, the American Life League, shares this view explaining, “We have been working to prove that prescription contraceptives have nothing to do with women’s health and well-being but are recreational drugs that prevent fertilization and abort children.” Northern Kentucky Right to Life will only endorse candidates who believe the use of the standard birth control pill constitutes abortion. Most chillingly, Army of God, a pro-life organization that lists those who murder abortion providers as “heroes,” also classifies birth control as an abortion method. On the “Birth Control is Evil” section of their website they explain, quite threateningly, “Birth control is evil and a sin. Birth control is anti-baby and anti-child…Why would you stop your own child from being conceived or born? What kind of human being are you?”
Furthermore, birth control counselling and abortion often indirectly contribute to the victim’s sense of shame, guilt, and blame for what is happening, since she is
told to “take control” and “be responsible” for her “sexual activity,” implying that this situation is indeed within her power to control.
Gosh, won’t it be great for women to have Gov. Palin in DC! With any luck Sarah Palin could become President and appoint a Supreme Court Justice or two…
I gotta run tell my daughters how excited I am.