Iowa's first statewide anti-abortion group is among 86 such organizations that have committed to opposing all forms of contraception.
Iowans for LIFE (Life Is For Everyone) has joined a coalition of anti-abortion groups under the umbrella of the American Life League and, by joining, has signed a document in opposition to not only abortion but all contraceptives and in vitro fertilization.
Coalition members who have also agreed to the document range from the California Right to Life Committee to the New York City Catholic Resource for the Unborn Child.
As if that news isn't chilling enough, recent statements and actions by Republican presidential hopefuls seem to have been geared to give voice for their approval.
Christina Page wrote an article in the Baltimore Sun and a post on Huffington Post documenting what she describes as "the quiet campaign against birth control." The players are Iowa Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo.
She reports that Romney, while addressing the National Right to Life committee, said, "I fought to define life as beginning at contraception rather than at the time of implantation." This, she says, sends a clear signal to the advocacy groups that the politician is willing to oppose the birth control pill and other contraceptives.
These words also mark a profound change of position. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney ordered Catholic hospitals to administer emergency contraception to women who claimed they had been raped.
Brownback has stated at Iowa events that he believes life "begins and should be protected from the moment of conception."
As advocates for family planning look back a year ago to approval of over-the-counter emergency contraception, they should not forget what was said in opposition. At that time Brownback stated his disappointment with President George Bush for allowing access to Plan B.
"I am saddened at any step that increases the number of abortions and increases the loss of life," he said to writer Amanda Carpenter of Human Events Publishing. "It is reckless to allow an overdose of a prescription drug to be offered over the counter."
Tancredo went one step further: "The morning-after pill cheapens human life, and simply uses a woman's body to dispose of the child instead of a doctor. It also puts them in harm's way by making it more accessible, when studies have yet to be completed on its effect on young women."
As Belle Taylor-McGhee of Pharmacy Access Partnership points out it does little good to attempt correction of the scientifically proven errors in both politicians' statements. "Women's reproductive health," she writes, "continues to be mired in politics rather than addressed with responsible public policy solutions."
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